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1973 New Jersey State Senate election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Jersey State Senate Elections, 1973

← 1971 November 6, 1973 1977 →

40 of the 40 seats in the New Jersey State Senate
21 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
Leader J. Edward Crabiel Alfred Beadleston
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Seventh District (Did not run for re-election) Fifth District (Re-elected in District 11)
Last election 16 seats 24 seats
Seats won 29 10
Seat change Increase 13 Decrease 14

  Third party
Party Independent
Last election 0 seats
Seats before 0
Seats won 1
Seat change Increase 1

Senate President before election

Alfred Beadleston

Elected Senate President

Frank J. Dodd

The 1973 New Jersey State Senate Senate elections coincided with Brendan Byrne's victory in the gubernatorial election. Byrne's large margin of victory over Republican Charles W. Sandman, Jr.—he won by 721,378 votes (66.4%-31.1%)[1] helped Democrats gain 13 seats in the State Senate, giving Democrats control, 29-10, with one Independent.[2] Republicans were also not helped by a divisive primary that saw the incumbent, William Cahill, a moderate, lose to the more conservative Sandman. Cahill barely supported Sandman in the general election. This election marked the first time since 1967 that Democrats controlled the State Senate.


For the first time, the state was to be divided into 40 legislative districts, with each district electing one State Senator and two members of the General Assembly. The districts were drawn first to achieve a population balance (districts were drawn to be within +/- 4% of each other), and then to be as geographically compact as possible. Many districts included parts of several counties. Some districts had more than one incumbent.[3]

Until 1965, the New Jersey State Senate was composed of 21 Senators, with each county electing one Senator. After the U.S. Supreme Court, in Reynolds v. Sims (more commonly known as One Man, One Vote), required redistricting by state legislatures for congressional districts to keep represented populations equal, as well as requiring both houses of state legislatures to have districts drawn that contained roughly equal populations, and to perform redistricting when needed.[4] In 1965, the Senate was increased from 21 members to 29 members, and larger counties were given more than one seat, and some smaller counties shared one or two Senators. The map was changed again in 1967, and again in 1971, as the state adjusted to the one man, one vote ruling.

Gains and Losses

Nine incumbent Republican Senators were defeated for re-election:

One incumbent Democratic Senator was defeated for re-election:

  • District 35: Joseph Lazzara (D-Passaic) lost to Republican Frank Davenport, the Passaic County Sheriff.

Five incumbent Republican Senators did not seek re-election in 1973, and Democrats won four of those seats:

  • District 5: Frank Italiano (R-Camden), succeeded by Democrat John Horn, the Assembly Minority Leader, from Camden County.
  • District 9: John F. Brown (R-Ocean), succeeded by Democrat John F. Russo, a former Ocean County Prosecutor.
  • District 24: Peter W. Thomas (R-Morris), succeeded by Republican James P. Vreeland, an Assemblyman from Morris County.
  • District 36: Harold Hollenbeck (R-Bergen), succeeded by Democrat Anthony Scardino, the Mayor of Lyndhurst.
  • District 39: Alfred Schiaffo (R-Bergen), succeeded by Raymond Garramone, the Mayor of Haworth.

Two incumbent Republican Senators were elected to Congress in 1972 and resigned their State Senate seats in January 1973 to take their seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Both seats were won by Democrats:

One incumbent Republican Senator was defeated for renomination in the June primary and Republicans held that seat:[5]

Five incumbent Democratic Senators did not seek re-election in 1973. Democrats won four of those seats, and the fifth was one by an Independent:

  • District 18: J. Edward Crabiel (D-Middlesex), who briefly sought the 1973 Democratic nomination for Governor, succeeded by Democrat Bernard Dwyer, the Mayor of Edison.
  • District 19: Norman Tanzman (D-Middlesex), succeeded by Democrat John Fay, an Assemblyman from Middlesex County.
  • District 28: Ralph DeRose (D-Essex), who lost to Brendan Byrne in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, succeeded by Democrat Martin L. Greenberg, who was Byrne's law partner.
  • District 30: William Bate (D-Passaic), succeeded by Independent Anthony Imperiale, an Assemblyman from Essex County. (Bate was redistricted into District 34, where Democrat Joseph Hirkala lived; instead of challenging Hirkala in the primary, he instead ran successfully for the State Assembly.)
  • District 32: William F. Kelly, Jr. (D-Hudson), succeeded by Democrat Joseph W. Tumulty.

Ten incumbent Democratic Senators were re-elected in 1973:

Seven incumbent Republican Senators were re-elected in 1973:


Democrats chose Frank J. Dodd as the Senate President and Matthew Feldman as Majority Leader; Republicans named the outgoing Senate President, Alfred Beadleston as Minority Leader.[7]


  1. ^ "Our Campaigns". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Results of the General Election" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. State of New Jersey. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Ronald (9 March 1973). "JERSEY APPROVES DISTRICTING PLAN; Reapportions State Senate and Assembly Seats for this Year's Elections Jersey Panel Approves a Plan To Redistrict Legislative Seats Jersey Panel Approves a Plan To Redistrict Legislative Seats". New York Times.
  4. ^ "JERSEY ORDERED TO REAPPORTION; Judge Finds Congressional Districts Unconstitutional". New York Times. 21 May 1965.
  5. ^ "Results of the Primary Election" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. State of New Jersey. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  7. ^ Fitzgerald's New Jersey Legislative Manual. Joseph J. Gribbons. 1974.
This page was last edited on 10 June 2019, at 09:24
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