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2002 United States Senate election in New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2002 United States Senate election in New Jersey

← 1996 November 5, 2002 2008 →
 
Frank Lautenberg.jpg
No image.svg
Nominee Frank Lautenberg Doug Forrester
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,138,193 928,439
Percentage 53.9% 44.0%

2002 NJ Senate Map.svg
County Results

Lautenberg:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Forrester:      50–60%      60–70%

U.S. Senator before election

Robert Torricelli
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Frank Lautenberg
Democratic

The 2002 United States Senate election in New Jersey was held on November 5, 2002. The race was to originally feature Democrat Robert Torricelli against former West Windsor Township mayor Douglas Forrester, who had won the Republican nomination. Torricelli won the seat when former Senator Bill Bradley elected not to run for a fourth term in 1996.

Torricelli, however, had been the target of an ethics probe and eventually dropped out of the race in late September 2002. Democrats sought to replace him with Frank Lautenberg, who had been the state's senior senator before retiring from New Jersey's other Senate seat at the end of the 106th United States Congress.

After legal proceedings aimed as forcing Torricelli's name to remain on the ballot were filed by Forrester's campaign, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Lautenberg could remain on the ballot.

In the general election, Lautenberg defeated Forrester by a 9.9% margin. At 78, Lautenberg became the oldest person ever to win an open Senate election.[1] Lautenberg became the state's junior senator for the second time when he was sworn in on January 3, 2003. (Jon Corzine, who was elected to Lautenberg's old Senate seat, became the senior senator in 2003 as Lautenberg's previous eighteen years in the Senate were not counted as he was starting over.)

Democratic primary

Candidates

Although Torricelli would later withdraw from the race, he was unopposed for the Democratic nomination on June 4.

Republican primary

Candidates

Results

Republican primary, June 4[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Doug Forrester 97,275 44.56%
Republican Diane Allen 80,476 36.87%
Republican John J. Matheussen 40,549 18.58%
Total votes 218,300 100.00%

Campaign

As noted above, Torricelli dropped out of the race on September 30 due to ethical problems and poor poll numbers against Forrester, a relatively unknown opponent.[3] The New Jersey Democratic Party convinced the retired Lautenberg to join the race after Torricelli dropped out. In the case of The New Jersey Democratic Party v. Samson, 175 N.J. 178 (2002), Forrester sued to stop Democratic Party efforts to have Lautenberg replace Torricelli. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously on October 2 that the party could switch Lautenberg's name in for Sen. Torricelli's on the ballot.[4] Forrester received the endorsement of President George W. Bush.[5]

Results

New Jersey United States Senate Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Frank Lautenberg 1,138,193 53.88%
Republican Douglas Forrester 928,439 43.95%
Green Ted Glick 24,308 1.15%
Libertarian Elizabeth Macron 12,558 0.59%
Conservative Norman E. Wahner 6,404 0.30%
Socialist Greg Pason 2,702 0.13%
Majority 209,754 9.93%
Turnout
Democratic hold Swing {{{swing}}}

References

  1. ^ Would Ted Strickland be the oldest freshman senator ever elected? Here's his competition.. Vox. 25 February 2015.
  2. ^ "NJ US Senate - R Primary". OurCampaigns.
  3. ^ https://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/torricelli_09-30-02.html
  4. ^ https://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2002/races/nj_senate.html
  5. ^ Remarks by the President at Doug Forrester for Senate Event, White House press release dated September 23, 2002
This page was last edited on 27 March 2020, at 11:29
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