1982 United States Senate election in New Jersey
|Elections in New Jersey|
The 1982 United States Senate election in New Jersey was held on November 2, 1982. Democrat Frank Lautenberg won for the seat held by retiring incumbent Republican Senator Nicholas Brady. Lautenberg won the seat with a margin of 3.19% over U.S. Representative Millicent Fenwick.
- Angelo Bianchi, former State Banking Commissioner
- Donald Cresitello, former Morristown mayor
- Frank Forst, former Jamesburg mayor
- Frank Lautenberg, financial executive
- Joseph A. LeFante, former U.S. Representative
- Andrew Maguire, former U.S. Representative
- Richard D. McAleer, car leasing agent
- Howard Rosen, attorney
- Barbara Boggs Sigmund, Mercer County Freeholder
- Cyril Yannarelli, Passaic County Freeholder
Cresitello dropped out of the race on May 27 but remained on the June 8 primary ballot.
|Democratic||Joseph A. LeFante||81,440||20.21|
|Democratic||Barbara Boggs Sigmund||45,708||11.34|
|Democratic||Richard D. McAleer||8,110||2.01|
- Millicent Fenwick, U.S. Representative
- Jeff Bell, political consultant and nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1978
General election campaign
The seat had been occupied by Democrat Harrison A. Williams, who resigned on March 11, 1982, after being implicated in the Abscam scandal. After Williams' resignation, Republican Governor Thomas Kean appointed Republican Nicholas F. Brady to the seat. Brady served in the Senate through the primary and general elections but did not run for the seat himself.
In the general election, Lautenberg faced popular Republican congresswoman Millicent Fenwick. She ran on a very progressive platform and polls in the Summer of 1982 put her ahead by 18 points. Even Lautenberg quipped that she was "the most popular candidate in the country." Lautenberg spent more of his own money, eventually out-spending Fenwick two-to-one. He emphasised President Reagan's unpopularity, reminded the voters that she would be a vote for a Republican majority in the Senate and called Fenwick, who was 72, "eccentric" and "erratic" but denied that he was referring to her age. He did however point out that she would be almost 80 at the end of her first term and was therefore unlikely to gain much seniority in the Senate. Coincidentally, the age issue would be used against Lautenberg in his own re-election bid in 2008.
Lautenberg won by 51% to 48%, in what was considered a major upset. Brady, who had just a few days left in his appointed term, resigned on December 27, 1982, allowing Lautenberg to take office several days before the traditional swearing-in of senators, which gave him an edge in seniority over the other freshman senators.
|Socialist Labor||Julius Levin||5,580||0.25%|
|Independent||Martin E. Wendelken||4,745||0.22%|
|Socialist Workers||Claire Moriarty||3,726||0.17%|
|Grassroots||Robert T. Bastien||2,955||0.14%|
|Repeal TF 807||Rose Zeidwerg Monyek||1,830||0.08%|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|County||Lautenberg %||Lautenberg votes||Fenwick %||Fenwick votes||Other %||Other votes|
- Normal, Michael (May 13, 1982). "9 IN JERSEY RACE FOR U.S. SENATE ADDRESS ELDERLY". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- "Cresitello Quits Jersey Senate Race". The New York Times. May 28, 1982. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
TRENTON, May 27— Former Mayor Donald Cresitello of Morristown withdrew today from the race for the Democratic nomination for United States Senator and endorsed former Representative Joseph A. LeFante of Bayonne.
- "Republican and Democratic Candidates for the Office of United States Senator" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. 1982. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- Kornacki, Steve (January 14, 2013). "When Lautenberg's Age Met Booker's Ambition: An Elegy for the Swamp Dog". Capital New York. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- Arnold, Laurence (June 3, 2013). "Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Senator From New Jersey, Dies at 89". Bloomberg News. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "Votes Cast for the Office of United States Senator" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. 1982. Retrieved June 25, 2016.