TRENTON – One of every five New Jersey residents has been switched to a new legislative district on the map that will be used for the remainder of the 2020s.
Nearly 1.85 million of the nearly 9.3 million state residents will live in a new district starting with the Senate and Assembly elections of 2023, as 26% of municipalities were shifted into new districts as part of rebalancing the populations of the districts after the 2020 Census.
(Lists of the towns in every district, including what has changed, are detailed at the bottom of this post.)
While about 20% of residents find themselves in new districts, less than 6% of lawmakers were moved.
In most cases, the shuffling of lawmakers still left them with a clear path to re-election as the number of incumbents didn’t exceed the number of available seats. The map created two potential primaries that would match incumbents, though one of those resolved itself Thursday.
Sen. Nicholas Sacco, D-Hudson, who is also the mayor of North Bergen, announced he will not seek re-election in the new 33rd District and endorsed Sen. Brian Stack, D-Hudson, the mayor of Union City.
Sacco, 75, a senator since 1994, said in his announcement that he had decided several months ago that he wouldn’t seek another term, after consulting with family and close friends.
“Although I had planned to announce that I will not seek re-election to the state Senate in my own time at a later date, it’s important to send a clear message now that Hudson County Democrats will remain united and to put any speculation about a divisive and unnecessary primary next year to rest,” he said.
The new 27th District includes two incumbent Democratic senators: Dick Codey, the former governor, and Nia Gill.
Just three of the state’s 40 districts are unchanged: the 7th District in Burlington County, the 19th District in Middlesex County and the 35th District in Bergen and Passaic counties.
Here’s how many districts each county is part of: Atlantic 4, Bergen 6, Burlington 4, Camden 3, Cape May 1, Cumberland 2, Essex 5, Gloucester 3, Hudson 4, Hunterdon 3, Mercer 3, Middlesex 7, Monmouth 5, Morris 4, Ocean 4, Passaic 6, Salem 1, Somerset 5, Sussex 1, Union 4, Warren 2.
From a political perspective, the most consequential change is in the 4th Legislative District, which includes parts of Camden, Gloucester and Atlantic counties.
Under the previous boundaries, Gov. Phil Murphy won the district by 2 points in last year’s governor’s race. Under the new ones, Republican Jack Ciattarelli won by 5 points. The district has three Democratic incumbents: Sen. Fred Madden, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty and Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera.
Under the new map, Republicans shored up the swing 8th District, which moved 3 points further toward Ciattarelli. Two other competitive districts also inched toward Republicans, based on the 2021 governor’s race results – the 21st District by 2 points and the 16th District by 1 point.
Most other competitive districts moved slightly in the Democrats’ direction, comparing the current and new boundaries’ results in the 2021 governor’s race. The 11th and 14th districts moved 1 point toward the Democrats, and the 36th and 38th districts moved 2 points in that direction.
New Jersey’s new legislative districts for the 2020s
Boundaries for the 40 legislative districts for the Senate and Assembly elections of 2023 through 2029, and perhaps 2031, were approved in a bipartisan vote of the Apportionment Commission on Feb. 18, 2022. The map continues to favor Democrats, though Republicans say it gives them a chance to win the majority.
New Jersey’s new congressional districts for the 2020s
A district-by-district look at New Jersey’s congressional map following the redistricting done after the 2020 Census.