November 12, 2012
This special edition of the Capital Report provides unofficial results of the Nov. 6 General Election.
All incumbents in the New Jersey congressional delegation retained their seats, andboth poll questions passed.
Key: (D) Democrat
Incumbents are printed in bold
Barack Obama* (D) defeated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney* (R) on Tuesday, winning both the popular vote and the Electoral College. President Obama won the Garden State, making it the sixth straight victory in New Jersey for Democrats.
Robert Menendez* (D) defeated State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R).
U.S. House of Representatives
Robert Andrews (D) defeated Greg Horton (R).
Frank LoBiondo (R) defeated Cassandra Shober (D) to win his 10th term.
Jon Runyan (R) defeated Shelley Adler* (D), the widow of his 2010 opponent, John Adler.
Chris Smith (R) defeated Brian Froelich (D).
Scott Garrett* (R) defeated Adam Gussen (D).
Frank Pallone Jr.* (D) defeated Anna Little* (R).
Leonard Lance* (R) defeated Upendra Chivukula (D) to win his third term.
Albio Sires (D) defeated Maria Karczewski (R).
Bill Pascrell Jr. (D) defeated Shmuley Boteach (R) in the new ninth district.
Donald Payne Jr. (D) defeated Brian Kelemen (R) to win his late father’s seat.
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) defeated John Arvanites (D).
Rush Holt (D) defeated Eric Beck (R) to win his eighth term.
Special General Elections – State Assembly
Gabriela Mosquera (D) defeated Shelley Lovett (R), who challenged the legitimacy of Mosquera's victory last fall on the grounds that the candidate had not lived in the district long enough to represent it.
Donna Simon (R) defeated Marie Corfield (D) in this special election to appoint a representative to replace veteran Assemblyman Peter J. Biondi (R), who died last November shortly after the election.
Betty Lou DeCroce (R) defeated Joseph Raich (D) to retain the seat of her late husband, Alex DeCroce (R).
PUBLIC QUESTION NO. 1 – MATCHING GRANTS FOR COLLEGES
A total of 62 percent of New Jersey citizens voted “Yes” to approve a bonding measure for state colleges titled the “Building Our Futures” Bond Act.
Description: Approval of this act will allow the state to issue bonds in the total principal amount of $750 million. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to provide grants to New Jersey's public and private colleges and universities to construct and equip higher education buildings to increase academic capacity. It provides bond proceeds will be allocated as follows: $300 million for public research universities, $247.5 million for state colleges and other state universities, $150 million for county colleges, and $52.5 million for private institutions with an endowment of $1 billion or less. Public and private colleges and universities that receive grants will be required to provide funds to support 25 percent of a project.
PUBLIC QUESTION NO. QUESTION 2 – JUDICIAL WITHHOLDING FOR BENEFIT CONTRIBUTIONS
A total of 83 percent of New Jersey citizens voted “Yes” to approve an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution to require judges contribute more of their salary to benefit contributions.
Description: This amendment clarifies the Legislature’s authority to pass laws requiring contributions to be taken from the salaries of the Supreme Court justices and superior court judges for their employee benefits. These benefits include pensions and healthcare coverage. The amendment responds to a question raised in a 2011 lawsuit filed by a judge after the Legislature passed and the governor signed into law P.L.2011, c.78. That law increased the contributions taken from current and future justices’ and judges’ salaries for their benefits starting in Oct. 2011. The lawsuit, which has been appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court, argued against taking the higher contributions from currently appointed justices and judges, cutting language in the state constitution that their salaries cannot be reduced during their appointed terms. The amendment clarifies that such contributions, set by law, may be taken from justices’ and judges’ salaries during their terms. It would also allow for the higher contributions set by P.L.2011, c.78. to be deducted from current and future justices’ and judges’ salaries.
NJSBA Position: The NJSBA opposed this measure. The following details the NJSBA’s position: The measure seeks to undo the clear words of the New Jersey Constitution, which has served the state since it was revised in 1947. Those words were interpreted by the state Supreme Court, in its recent decision in DePascale v. State, to protect the judicial branch of the state government from possible political interference and/or retaliation by another separate and co-equal branch of government. These protections are the hallmark of the free, fair and independent judicial system New Jerseyans rely on every day. This amendment ignores the well-grounded reasons judges enjoy constitutional protections not afforded to other government employees. The exceptions to those protections contained in this proposal are not permitted at the federal level, and the NJSBA believed should not be applicable to New Jersey judges. Finally, it is important to note that judges are not covered by any collective bargaining agreement or statute that provides for increases in salaries or benefits over time—whether those increases are tied to cost of living increases of otherwise. Judges must rely on future legislative action for any compensation increases; they should not also have to be fearful of legislative action resulting in compensation decreases.