Sen. Vince Polistina, R-Atlantic, Assemblyman Don Guardian and Assemblywoman Claire Swift all retained their NJ Legislative District 2 seats on Tuesday, election night.
Polistina defeated Democrat Caren Fitzpatrick and Libertarian Shaw Peck. Republican Incumbents Don Guardian and Claire Swift beat Democrat challengers Alphonso Harrell and Elizabeth “Lisa” Bender.
“We were focused on supporting parents, supporting families, supporting law enforcement, stopping illegal immigration, making New Jersey more affordable, things that would give people better opportunities in the state of New Jersey,” said Polistina. “That’s what we’re going to continue to focus on in Atlantic County.”
Polistina garnered 53.08% of the total votes tabulated after the polls closed at 8 p.m. with 23,733. Fitzpatrick garnered 43.87 %, with 19,615 votes. Libertarian Shawn Peck garnered only 3.05% or 1,363 votes.
Fitzpatrick said she still believed in her platform, but the people have spoken.
“We did everything we could to make a strong campaign,” said Fitzpatrick. “We were right on the issues. We don’t want to go backward. We want to move Atlantic County and our communities forward. Our values that we spoke about to the voters were true. It just wasn’t our time.”
Guardian garnered 29.30% of the votes with 25,795 reported when the polls closed. Swift earned 28.01% of the votes or 24,658.
Meanwhile, Bender took 21.73% of the votes or 19,136. Harrell made the poorest showing with 20.96% of the vote, or 18,459.
Harrell said many Democrats just didn’t show up at the polls. “We did the best we could,” Harrell said. “If people don’t understand what we’re trying to do to change and make the world a better place something is wrong.”
Debbie Santiago, a Republican supporter who was celebrating the sweeping GOP victory at the Linwood Country Club, said Democrats have to get more serious. "They don't realize that a local election is equally as important a national election because it's about your own community," said Santiago. "It should be more about local politics than national. If you don't come out to vote, you have no right to complain."
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