NJ Pen 2017 Primary Election Guide


Your handy breakdown of the state, county, and local races for Tuesday’s June 6 primary elections.

By Matt Skoufalos

On Tuesday, voters from New Jersey’s two main political parties will head to the polls to select the candidates who will represent them in this fall’s general election.

There are no national seats up for grabs this time around, which means that the biggest questions all revolve around local, county, and state offices, including a crowded field of hopefuls for governor.

New Jersey has closed primaries: voters must declare their affiliations for either Republican or Democratic parties in order to participate. Registered, unaffiliated voters may declare their party affiliation at the polls.

Gubernatorial Race

Six Democrats and five Republicans are vying for the right to succeed outgoing Governor Chris Christie in this fall’s general election.

New Jersey’s 2017 Democratic candidates for governor.

The Democratic candidates who will appear on the ballot are:

  • Bill Brennan of Wayne, a former firefighter and lawyer who famously sued Christie for official misconduct in the Bridgegate scandal,
  • Jim Johnson of Montclair, an attorney and former Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary,
  • Ray Lesniak of Elizabeth, currently the longest-serving New Jersey State Senator,
  • Mark Zinna, Tenafly Council President and a data management businessman,
  • John Wisniewski of Sayreville, a New Jersey assemblyman and attorney,
  • Phil Murphy of Middletown Township, a retired Goldman-Sachs executive and former U.S. ambassador to Germany.

New Jersey’s 2017 Republican Gubernatorial Candidates.

The Republican candidates who will appear on the ballot are:

  • Hirsh Singh of Egg Harbor Township, an engineer and manager at an aviation consultancy,
  • Jack Ciatarelli of Hillsborough Township, a New Jersey assemblyman, CPA, and medical publisher,
  • Joseph Rudy Rullo of Little Egg Harbor, a landscaping business owner,
  • Steven Rogers, Nutley commissioner, retired police officer, and frequent political commentator,
  • Kim Guadagno of Monmouth Beach, Christie’s lieutenant governor and a former New Jersey assistant attorney general.

State Senate Race

In the Sixth Legislative District, incumbent Jim Beach is running unopposed, as is his Republican counterpart, Robert Shapiro; the two are expected to contend for the seat in the fall general election.

The race for the Fifth Legislative District is also uncontested. In November, incumbent Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D), who in 2014 was appointed to fill the state senate seat vacated by U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross, is expected to face Keith A. Walker, who lost to Norcross for the same seat in 2011 and again in 2013.

State Assembly Race

In the Sixth Legislative District, incumbents Pamela Lampitt and Louis Greenwald face a challenge from Fredrick Dande, who is running under the slogan, “The Progressive Leader for All Families.” On the Republican ballot, Winston Extavour and David C. Moy are running unopposed for the seats.

The race for the two available Fifth Legislative District assembly seats is uncontested, with incumbent Democrats Patricia Egan Jones and Arthur Barclay slated to face Republicans Kevin Ehret, who also ran for that seat in 2015, and Teresa Gordon in the November general elections.

Camden County Freeholder Race

Two seats are up for grabs on the county freeholder board, with five candidates challenging incumbents Lou Cappelli and Jonathan Young on the Democratic ticket.

  • In Column 7, Suzanne Shourds and Debra Lonsdale are running under the slogan, “Progressive Democrats for Cherry Hill.”
  • In Column 8, Robert Beare and Mary Ann Dunn are running under the slogan, “Progressive Democrats for Camden County.”
  • In Column 9, Kathryn Petner is running under the slogan, “Make the Most of Tomorrow.”

Republican hopefuls Keith Cybulski and Nicole Nance are running unopposed.

Cherry Hill Council candidates.

Local Races

  • In Cherry Hill, incumbent Democratic council members David Fleisher, Carole Roskoph, Sangeeta Doshi, and Carolyn Jacobs face challenges from Joshua Hare, Patricia Magnus, Scott Soffen, and Mark Gulbranson, all of whom are running under the slogan, “Progressive Democrats for Cherry Hill.”
    Meanwhile, Republicans Andrew Behrend, John Papeika, Scott Cohen, and Joseph Rodi, Jr. will appear uncontested on their party’s ballot for the township council.
  • Haddon Heights voters won’t have to choose from among their party members for the two available seats on the borough council. Democrats Stephanie Madden and Christopher Mrozinski are expected to face incumbent Republican Council President Kathy Lange and retired Haddon Heights Police Chief Richard Kinkler in the general election.
  • Incumbent Merchantville Democratic Council President Andrew McLoone and council member Katherine Swann face no opposition on the ballot; neither did any Republican candidate file a petition for the two available borough council seats.
  • It’s the same story in Oaklyn, where incumbent council members Dot Valianti and Chuck Lehman will run uncontested in the primaries, and will not face any Republican challengers on the local ballot this fall.
  • Incumbent Pennsauken Mayor Betsy McBride and fellow council member Jack Killion are running unopposed in the primaries; so are their Republican challengers Vincent Squire and Nhuan Van.

Voter Information

Scroll down or links to your local sample ballot and a list of polling places, which are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. statewide on Tuesday, June 6.


Local Polling Place Finder and Sample Ballots


Audubon Park

Cherry Hill


Haddon Heights


Haddon Township




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