1973 New Jersey State Senate election
40 of the 40 seats in the New Jersey State Senate
21 seats needed for a majority
The 1973 New Jersey State Senate Senate elections coincided with Brendan Byrne's victory in the gubernatorial election. Byrne's large margin of victory over Republican Charles W. Sandman, Jr.—he won by 721,378 votes (66.4%-31.1%) helped Democrats gain 13 seats in the State Senate, giving Democrats control, 29-10, with one Independent. Republicans were also not helped by a divisive primary that saw the incumbent, William Cahill, a moderate, lose to the more conservative Sandman. Cahill barely supported Sandman in the general election. This election marked the first time since 1967 that Democrats controlled the State Senate.
For the first time, the state was to be divided into 40 legislative districts, with each district electing one State Senator and two members of the General Assembly. The districts were drawn first to achieve a population balance (districts were drawn to be within +/- 4% of each other), and then to be as geographically compact as possible. Many districts included parts of several counties. Some districts had more than one incumbent.
Until 1965, the New Jersey State Senate was composed of 21 Senators, with each county electing one Senator. After the U.S. Supreme Court, in Reynolds v. Sims (more commonly known as One Man, One Vote), required redistricting by state legislatures for congressional districts to keep represented populations equal, as well as requiring both houses of state legislatures to have districts drawn that contained roughly equal populations, and to perform redistricting when needed. In 1965, the Senate was increased from 21 members to 29 members, and larger counties were given more than one seat, and some smaller counties shared one or two Senators. The map was changed again in 1967, and again in 1971, as the state adjusted to the one man, one vote ruling.
Gains and Losses
Nine incumbent Republican Senators were defeated for re-election:
- District 3: James Turner (R-Gloucester) lost to Democrat Raymond Zane, a Gloucester County Freeholder.
- District 6: John L. Miller (R-Camden) lost to Democrat Alene Ammond.
- District 10: Richard Stout (R-Monmouth) lost to Democrat Herbert Buehler.
- District 12: Joseph Azzolina (R-Monmouth) lost to Democrat Eugene Bedell, an Assemblyman from Monmouth County.
- District 14: William Schluter (R-Mercer) lost to Democrat Anne Clark Martindell. the Vice Chairwoman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.
- District 20: Frank X. McDermott (R-Union) lost to Democrat Alexander J. Menza, an Assemblyman from Union County.
- District 27: Michael Giuliano (R-Essex) lost to Democrat Carmen Orechio, the Mayor of Nutley.
- District 37: Joseph Woodcock (R-Bergen) lost to Democrat Matthew Feldman. a former State Senator and the Bergen County Democratic Chairman.
- District 38: Frederick Wendel (R-Bergen) lost to Democrat John Skevin, a former Assemblyman from Bergen County.
One incumbent Democratic Senator was defeated for re-election:
- District 35: Joseph Lazzara (D-Passaic) lost to Republican Frank Davenport, the Passaic County Sheriff.
Five incumbent Republican Senators did not seek re-election in 1973, and Democrats won four of those seats:
- District 5: Frank Italiano (R-Camden), succeeded by Democrat John Horn, the Assembly Minority Leader, from Camden County.
- District 9: John F. Brown (R-Ocean), succeeded by Democrat John F. Russo, a former Ocean County Prosecutor.
- District 24: Peter W. Thomas (R-Morris), succeeded by Republican James P. Vreeland, an Assemblyman from Morris County.
- District 36: Harold Hollenbeck (R-Bergen), succeeded by Democrat Anthony Scardino, the Mayor of Lyndhurst.
- District 39: Alfred Schiaffo (R-Bergen), succeeded by Raymond Garramone, the Mayor of Haworth.
Two incumbent Republican Senators were elected to Congress in 1972 and resigned their State Senate seats in January 1973 to take their seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Both seats were won by Democrats:
- District 21: Matthew John Rinaldo (R-Union), succeeded by Democrat Thomas Dunn, the Mayor of Elizabeth.
- District 23: Joseph Maraziti (R-Morris), succeeded by Democrat Stephen Wiley, a Morristown attorney.
One incumbent Republican Senator was defeated for renomination in the June primary and Republicans held that seat:
- District 22: Jerome Epstein (R-Union), succeeded by Republican Peter J. McDonough, an Assemblyman from Union County. McDonough won 60%-40% over the incumbent, who was facing an indictment.
Five incumbent Democratic Senators did not seek re-election in 1973. Democrats won four of those seats, and the fifth was one by an Independent:
- District 18: J. Edward Crabiel (D-Middlesex), who briefly sought the 1973 Democratic nomination for Governor, succeeded by Democrat Bernard Dwyer, the Mayor of Edison.
- District 19: Norman Tanzman (D-Middlesex), succeeded by Democrat John Fay, an Assemblyman from Middlesex County.
- District 28: Ralph DeRose (D-Essex), who lost to Brendan Byrne in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, succeeded by Democrat Martin L. Greenberg, who was Byrne's law partner.
- District 30: William Bate (D-Passaic), succeeded by Independent Anthony Imperiale, an Assemblyman from Essex County. (Bate was redistricted into District 34, where Democrat Joseph Hirkala lived; instead of challenging Hirkala in the primary, he instead ran successfully for the State Assembly.)
- District 32: William F. Kelly, Jr. (D-Hudson), succeeded by Democrat Joseph W. Tumulty.
Ten incumbent Democratic Senators were re-elected in 1973:
- District 2: Joseph McGahn (D-Atlantic)
- District 4: Joseph Maressa (D-Camden)
- District 7: Edward J. Hughes (D-Burlington)
- District 13: Joseph P. Merlino (D-Mercer)
- District 17: John A. Lynch, Sr. (D-Middlesex)
- District 26: Frank J. Dodd (D-Essex)
- District 29: Wynona Lipman (D-Essex)
- District 31: James P. Dugan (D-Hudson)
- District 33: William Musto (D-Hudson)
- District 34: Joseph Hirkala (D-Passaic)
Seven incumbent Republican Senators were re-elected in 1973:
- District 1: James Cafiero (R-Cape May)
- District 8: Barry T. Parker (R-Burlington)
- District 11: Alfred Beadleston (R-Monmouth)
- District 15: Wayne Dumont, Jr. (R-Somerset)
- District 16: Raymond Bateman (R-Somerset)
- District 25: James H. Wallwork (R-Essex)
- District 40: Garrett Hagedorn (R-Bergen)
- "Our Campaigns". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- "Results of the General Election" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. State of New Jersey. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- Sullivan, Ronald (9 March 1973). "JERSEY APPROVES DISTRICTING PLAN; Reapportions State Senate and Assembly Seats for this Year's Elections Jersey Panel Approves a Plan To Redistrict Legislative Seats Jersey Panel Approves a Plan To Redistrict Legislative Seats". New York Times.
- "JERSEY ORDERED TO REAPPORTION; Judge Finds Congressional Districts Unconstitutional". New York Times. 21 May 1965.
- "Results of the Primary Election" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. State of New Jersey. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- "Our Campaigns". Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- Fitzgerald's New Jersey Legislative Manual. Joseph J. Gribbons. 1974.