By Walter Elliott
NEWARK - Thirty-Four candidates - running as Democrats, Republicans, "minor party" or independent candidates - have filed with Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin to compete for 13 seats from "Local Talk" town halls to Capitol Hill in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Statewide and national observers, for example, are watching the race for Sen. Robert Menendez's U.S. Senate seat. Main challenger Bob Hugin and his Republican supporters have aired their campaign ads on television the last two weeks.
Eyes are also fixed on New Jersey's 11th Congressional District race on who will succeed the retiring Rodney Frelinghuysen. Five major and minor party candidates had filed petitions here by 4 p.m. June 5.
Those two races' results may help tip the balance of political power in Congress towards the Democratic or Republican parties. The races may also double as a midterm report card on President Donald J. Trump's administration.
Voters' endorsements are also sought among eight other races, from the U.S. House of Representatives to municipal council.
The following summary represents most - but not all - of the sample ballots "Local Talk" voters will get in their mail by Oct. 31.
School board races and at least two related public questions among "Local Talk" towns were covered here last week. Durkin's Election Division staff is leaving ballot space open for any more public questions until 4 p.m. Sept. 6 here at the Hall of Records.
Statewide voters are to choose from among eight candidates on their ballots to succeed Robert Menendez.
Menendez (D-Harrison) is running for re-election. Republicans have fielded Bob Hugin, of Summit, as their challenger.
The Green Party has entered Madelyn R. Hoffman, of Flanders, by filing petitions before 4 p.m. June 5. The Libertarian Party likewise entered Murray Sabrin, of Fort Lee.
Tricia Flanagan, of Lawrenceville, is running as a "New Day NJ" independent. Kevin Kimple, of Edison, is under his own "Keep It Simple" banner. Natalie Lynn Rivera, of Merchantville, is flying her "For The People" flag. Hank Schroeder, of Sea Girt, is running on his "Economic Growth" platform.
House of Representatives
Eighth Congressional District (Belleville, Newark's North and East Wards, Union County's Elizabeth, Bergen County's Fairview, eight Hudson County municipalities plus parts of Bayonne, Jersey City and Kearny):
Eighth CD voters are to choose among incumbent Albio Sires (D-West New York) and three challengers on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Republicans have nominated John R. Muniz, of Jersey City.
Libertarians have fielded Dan Delaney, of Hoboken, as their candidate. Mahmoud Mahmoud, of Jersey City, is running as a "New Way Forward" candidate.
10th CD (East Orange, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Maplewood, Orange, South Orange; lower parts of Bloomfield, Montclair, West Orange, the rest of Newark plus five Union County towns and part of Union Township and the lower parts of Hudson County's Bayonne and Jersey City):
Voters are to choose among incumbent Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) and four challengers.
Agha Khan, of Jersey City, is the Republicans' candidate. Scott Droma, of East Orange, is under the Libertarian Party banner.
Cynthia Johnson, of Glen Ridge, is running as "C4C 2018." Joan Miller, of Newark, is under her own "Never Give Up" flag.
11th CD (Nutley, upper parts of Bloomfield, Montclair and West Orange:
Nine "West Essex" towns, and 41 Morris, Passaic and Sussex county towns) Voters are to pick Rodney Frelinghuysen's successor from among four candidates on their ballot.
Mikie Sherrill (D-Upper Montclair) and Antony E. Ghee (R-Totowa) earned their respective parties' nominations through June 5's primaries.
Ryan Martinez, of Butler, is running as a Libertarian. Robert F. Crook, of Essex Fells, is campaigning under "Honesty, Integrity, Compassion."
Frelinghuysen (R- Harding Twp.) is retiring after serving 12 two-year terms.
STATE 34TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT
(East Orange, Orange, Montclair and Passaic County's Clifton.)
Voters here are to choose among two candidates.
Incumbent Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange) is seeking her first full elected term on the General Assembly. She was nominated by county Democrats to succeed Assemblywoman-turned-Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver (D-East Orange) in January.
Challenging is Clenard Howard Childress, Jr., of Montclair, on his own "Stop the Insanity" slogan.
County Executive: Voters are to choose among three candidates to succeed Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.
Incumbent DiVincenzo (D-Roseland) is running for a fifth term. County Republicans have fielded North Caldwell Councilman John Chiaia as their challenger. John Jay Arena, of Newark, is running as a Jobs and Equal Rights for ALL candidate.
County Sheriff: Voters are to choose between Armando B. Fontoura and Pasquale Capozzoli.
Incumbent Fontoura (D-Fairfield) is seeking his 10th term since 1990. Challenging is Republican Caldwell Councilman Capozzoli.
Freeholder Third District (East Orange, Orange, South Orange, Newark's West and Central Wards): District voters are to choose a successor for Janine Bauer (D-South Orange), who was appointed in January to fill in the first year of former freeholder Timberlake's term.
East Orange Ward Councilwoman Tyshammie L. Cooper is the only person to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. County Republicans did not nominate a candidate.
Bloomfield voters are to ratify At-Large Councilman Richard Rockwell's continuing to fill Carlos Pomares' remaining term. Township Democrats appointed Rockwell in January after Nov. 7 voters promoted Pomares to District Five Freeholder.
Glen Ridge voters are to ratify incumbent Borough Council Members Paul A. Lisovicz and Ann Marie Morrow to their second three-year terms. Morrow and Lisovicz are running with Civic Conference Committee endorsement.
Maplewood voters have three candidates to fill two Township Committee seats from. Nancy J. Adams and Greg Lembrich are the incumbent Democrats. Ileana Alexandra Castillo is running on her own "The Independent Choice" platform.