Written by Christie Rotondo Friday, May 30, 2014 04:53 pm
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On June 3, Republicans and Democrats will cast votes for party nominations throughout New Jersey in the state's primary election. Much of the attention will be on Congressional races, as this year officials at the Cape May county level are again unchallenged.
Incumbent Cory Booker is running unchallenged on the Democratic ballot to keep his newly-won Senate seat. Four Republicans, however, are vying to challenge him in November's general election: Jeff Bell, Brain Goldberg, Richard Pezzullo and Murray Sabrin.
The Cape May County Regular Republican Organization has not endorsed any of the candidates in the primary, but the Cape May County Conservative Party endorses Pezzullo, who is from Freehold.
In the House, U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo is running for his ninth Congressional term. He has served as a representative of New Jersey's second congressional district since 1995.
LoBiondo is challenged in the Republican primary by Mike Assad, an Atlantic City resident, who was one of the state's youngest elected officials when he won a seat on the Absecon Board of Education in 2006 at 18. He faced LoBiondo in the June 2012 primary election as well.
As for Democrats, Bill Hughes Jr. threw his hat in the race in October. Hughes is an attorney for the Atlantic City based firm, Cooper Levenson. His father, Bill Hughes Sr., was succeeded by LoBiondo in 1994, after Hughes Sr. chose not to seek re-election. Hughes is garnering support within the party, gaining the backing of the Ocean City Democratic Committee and the Cape May County Regular Democratic Organization.
Independent David Cole, 28, of Mantua Township, is challenging Hughes for the Democratic nomination in the race for New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District. Cole worked on President Barack Obama's campaign in 2008, and worked as an advisor to the president for technology. His thoughts on technology and politics, with his experience as a software engineer, have attracted the attention of some national media outlets to the South Jersey primary race.
At the county level, Republicans are running unchallenged in the upcoming primary, and most likely will be unchallenged in the general election as well.
Gary Schaffer is up for another three-year term as Cape May County's Sheriff, while incumbent freeholders Will Morey and Kristine Gabor are looking to keep their seats.
Gabor is fresh off last year's campaign for state Assembly, where she and Republican running mate, Sam Fiocchi, ran against Democrats Nelson Albano and Bob Andrzejczak to represent New Jersey's 1st Legislative District. While Gabor lost that election, Fiocchi beat out Albano, and was one of the few Republicans in the state to win a seat last year.
This is the second election year where Democrats haven't challenged Republican incumbents at the county level. On Friday, Jim Pickering, chairman of Cape May County's Democratic Party, said the party is focusing on local races this year.
"We had a good election last November, and we hope that by focusing on the local level and we will continue to the build party from the ground up," Pickering said.
In last year's general election, Democratic candidates won seats in Middle Township, Dennis Township, and West Cape May.
This year, seats on the Middle and Dennis Township Committees are again up for grabs.
In Middle, Republican incumbent Mayor Tim Donohue will face Democrat Sam Kelly in the general election for a seat on the committee so far. Independents have until 4 p.m., June 3 to turn in petitions for municipal elections.
In Dennis, Democrats Donald Tozer and Lisa Salimbene are running against Republicans Frank Germanio Jr. and Julie DeRose for seats on that township's committee as well.
Voters can check the Cape May County Election Department's website, www.capemaycountyvotes.com for polling place information and sample ballots.