Rep. Albio Sires and Rep. Donald Payne Jr., current incumbent congressmen for the 8th and 10th districts respectively, appear to have won their primary elections, based on preliminary voting data.
Tuesday, July 7 was Primary Election Day in New Jersey. In Hudson County, the primary centered on two Democratic races for Congress, as well as races for Freeholder seats.
Because most ballots were vote-by-mail, it may take weeks to finalize the results.
Sires claims victory in the 8th district
Sires declared victory in the 8th Congressional District, with preliminary election results showing him in a large lead over his two challengers.
The 8th district represents most of Hudson County.
Attorney Hector Oseguera from West New York and U.S. Navy Veteran Will Sheehan from Bayonne were vying to oust Sires. And while Osegeura may have been the first serious challenge to Sires in some time, Sires swept the contest and currently leads Oseguera by thousands of votes.
As of July 9, Sires led Oseguera 16,163 to 5,830, according to the Hudson County Clerk. Sheehan came in third with 487 votes.
“I would like to thank Democrats from across Hudson, Essex, Union and Bergen counties for their support in this unprecedented election. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of the 8th District,” Sires said.
“I pledge to keep fighting for the values we all share, like expanding affordable health care coverage, reforming our broken immigration system, taking on the NRA and always standing up for our working families.”
Sires thanked his supporters and reiterated his support for Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for President in November, shifting focus from the primary to the general election.
“I am grateful to my many supporters in this election who I am proud to work with every day on important issues for our state, from Governor Murphy, Senator Menendez and Senator Booker, to all of the elected officials and Democratic leaders from throughout the district who worked together as a team to achieve this tremendous victory, to the many outstanding labor unions and advocacy groups who stood with me,” Sires said.
“Now, it’s time for all Democrats to come together to re-elect Senator Booker and restore true leadership to the White House by electing Joe Biden as our next president.”
Sires will now face Republican Jason Mushnick in the general election in November.
Oseguera vows to keep fighting
Despite his defeat, Oseguera remains optimistic and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
“This is only the beginning,” Oseguera said in statement on social media.
Oseguera told supporters to stay tuned as he continues his fight in Hudson County.
“People have reached out to ask what’s next,” Oseguera said. “I’m not going anywhere, and there’s still a lot of work to be done in #NJ08.”
While initially optimistic about exit polling in Hoboken and Bayonne, Sheehan remains a distant third.
“Running for Congress has been an honor and privilege. In the last four months, I’ve had the opportunity to meet the great Americans that comprise the 8th district – from our brave firefighters, to everyday citizens,” Sheehan said. “Their passionate advocacy is what propelled this campaign forward.”
In the 10th legislative district, Donald Payne Jr. holds a decisive lead over his two primary challengers, Jersey City educator John Flora and Rutgers professor Gene Mazo.
The 10th district is centered on Newark but includes the western parts of Bayonne and Jersey City.
Payne will face off with Republican Jennifer Zinone, of Bayonne, in the general election.
Incumbent Freeholders poised to hold on
The Freeholder races in Hudson County are boding well for incumbents endorsed by the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO).
Incumbent Freeholders Kenneth Kopacz, William O’Dea, Albert Cifelli, and Caridad Rodriguez faced no challengers and are projected to decisively win their primaries.
In contested primary races, Freeholders Jerry Walker, Anthony Romano, Fanny Cedeno, and Chairman Anthony Vainieri hold strong leads and are also projected to win.
The closest race is between non-incumbent Yraida Aponte-Lipski, backed by the HCDO, and challenger Eleana Little.
As of July 9, Aponte-Lipski leads Little by only hundreds of votes 2,363 versus 1,687.
Results for close elections like the one between Aponte-Lipski and Little may not be determined until the election results are finalized after all ballots are counted.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.