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Helping Members Succeed

The New Jersey Dental Association is the voice of the dental profession and a strong proponent of oral health in the state. Members are part of a vibrant community of dentists encompassing 12 local dental societies as well as the American Dental Association. Members engage in educational programs, have access to dentist-centric relationships and tools to navigate the business of dentistry and their careers, as well as benefit from dedicated advocacy that protects the interests of the profession. The organization is run by member-dentists with the support of a team of professionals at NJDA Headquarters. NJDA members never practice alone!

UPCOMING EVENTS

DENTAL NEWS AND NOTES

New Jersey Election Recap

Nov 10, 2023
Overall, organized dentistry and the NJDPAC had an extremely successful night. NJDA supported candidates won overwhelmingly with just three candidates losing out of more than 100 different individuals to which NJDPAC contributed.

The story of Election Night 2023 is NJ Democrats win big throughout the state and up and down the ticket. The Blue Wave extended across the country with the Democrats taking control of the Virginia Legislature, Kentucky electing Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear, and voters in Ohio overwhelmingly supporting a ballot initiative affirming a woman’s right to choose- overturning a strict state legislative action limiting legal abortion. While the dust has yet to settle in New Jersey, it appears kitchen table issues drove support for the Democrats, and Republicans missed the mark on what mattered most to New Jersey voters this year.

The election results in New Jersey came as a surprise to most pundits and political operatives. The consensus going into Election Day was Republicans would make marginal gains but not enough to take control of either chamber. However, the Democrats increased their majorities in the General Assembly and maintained their majority in the State Senate. Tuesday’s election saw the selection of 10 new State Senators, and 26 new General Assembly members. The NJDPAC has already begun to build relationships with many of these newly elected officials.

Overall, organized dentistry and the NJDPAC had an extremely successful night. NJDA supported candidates won overwhelmingly with just three candidates losing out of more than 100 different individuals to which NJDPAC contributed. 

Below is a breakdown of some of the key elections we were watching and in which NJDPAC was investing.

KEY RACES UPDATE

Republicans defend in LD2 (Atlantic County)

The Republican team of Polistina, Guardian and Swift won re-election despite an aggressive campaign from Democrats. One of the few bright spots for Republicans on Election Night, Senator Vince Polistina, Assemblyman Don Guardian and Assemblywoman Clair Swift will be returning to the Legislature. NJDPAC supported the Republican candidates in this election.


Democrats re-take LD3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties)

Former Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who lost his election two years ago, defeated Republican Senator Ed Durr who upset Senate President Steve Sweeney in 2021 election. At the time of this writing, Burzichelli's Assembly running mates, Heather Simons, and Dave Bailey have been declared winners. NJDPAC remained neutral in this legislative district due to previous legislative session actions by both Republican and Democrat candidates.


Dems hold serve in competitive LD4 (Camden and Gloucester Counties)

In one of the most hopeful legislative districts for Republican pick-ups this election, the Democrats retained control of Legislative District 4. Assemblyman Paul Moriarty won the open Senate seat being vacated by retiring Fred Madden. His running mates, Dan Hutchison, and Cody Miller defeated their Republican challengers and for both open Assembly seats. NJDPAC supported the entire Democratic ticket in their election.


Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Dems Trounce in LD11 (Monmouth County)

Incumbent Senator Vin Gopal, in what was billed as the single most competitive election in New Jersey, won reelection by a vote of nearly 60 percent destroying his Republican challenger. The win was so strong that he pulled his Democratic Assembly running mates, Luanne Peterpaul, and Margie Donlon, into impressive victories defeating sitting Republican Assemblywomen Marilyn Piperno and Kim Eulner. This was the most expensive legislative race in New Jersey history. NJDPAC strongly supported Senator Gopal while supporting the Republican Assemblywomen.


Democrats Roll to Victory in LD16 (Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon and Somerset Counties)

Incumbent Senator Andrew Zwicker and Assemblyman Roy Freiman easily won re-election along with their running mate, Mitchelle Drulis. This district was billed as the second most competitive race in the state and saw thin polling margins just a few weeks before the election. NJDPAC made investments in Senator Zwicker and Assemblyman Freiman’s election efforts.


Senator Joe Pennacchio, A Member Dentist Rolls to Victory in LD26 (Essex, Morris, Passaic Counties)

By a 58 percent margin, State Senator Dr. Joe Pennacchio handedly defeated challenger Joan Waks maintaining a long tradition of elected dentists in the NJ State Legislature. NDPAC fully invested into Senator Pennacchio’s race as did a numerous member dentists who individually contributed to his campaign.


LD30 District Splits for the First Time in A Generation (Ocean and Monmouth Counties)

In a typically solid Republican Legislative District that saw Republican Senator Bob Singer win by 81 percent over his Democratic challenger and Republican Assemblyman Sean Kean as the top Assembly vote getter, upstart Democrat Rabbi Avi Schnall soundly defeated incumbent Republican Assemblyman Ned Thomson. A coordinated campaign from Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community was the key to this race and solidified the community as the power player in this legislative district. NJDPAC supported the entire Republican ticket, but only made a small investment with the unseated Assemblyman.


Lagana Prevails in LD38 (Bergen and Passaic Counties)

Senator Joe Lagana, a strong supporter of organized dentistry and the healthcare provider community, handedly won in a district that Republicans were hopeful a repeat of the 2021 Red Wave would see a change party. Assemblywoman Lisa Swain, and Assemblyman Chris Tully were the top two vote getters easily defeating their Republican challengers. NJDPAC made solid investments in the Democratic slate.


Key Down-Ticket Elections

Democrats retained control of the Gloucester, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, and Union Counties. Republicans maintained control in Morris, Monmouth, Ocean, and Atlantic Counties.
 
In Mercer County, Assemblyman Dan Benson was elected County Executive, after defeating five-term incumbent County Executive Brian Hughes in the June Democratic Primary. In Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey’s 9th largest town, Mayor Jeff Martin, easily defeated Marty Flynn.
 
In total, NJDPAC invested more than $300,000 this Election Cycle (2022-2023) on candidates and organizations that prevailed in Tuesday’s General Election. Because of your contribution, organized dentistry has weathered the mercurial nature of the state’s electorate to ensure the profession is well positioned in the upcoming legislative session. 

Time to build on this momentum into an even stronger 2024-2025 Election Cycle that will see an open seat Governor’s race for the first time in 8 years, and all 40 of the General Assembly Seats up for election. The State Senate, however, decouples from its Assembly counterparts to enjoy a four-year election term.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Mark Vitale, mvitale590@aol.com, Jim Schulz, jjschulz@njda.org, or Jeffrey Wood, jwood@njda.org, with any questions or comments you may have.

Contact Us

Phone: 732-821-9400 for the automated switchboard or dial the Staff Directly 
Fax: 732-821-1082 | Email: info@njda.org | Follow us @NJDentalAssoc
One Dental Plaza, North Brunswick, NJ 08902