There were no surprises in Tuesday’s primary election.
With the presidential nominations already decided and only a single statewide race for U.S. Senate on the ballot, one of the few contests that drew attention in Somerset County was the campaign between incumbent Leonard Lance and challenger David Larsen for the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District.
Only 10.36 percent of the county's 201,663 registered voters went to the polls.
Republican turnout was 27.9 percent while 12.9 percent of Democrats voted.
Lance oupolled challenger David Larsen, 7,536 to 4,764. The 61 to 38 percent margin mirrored the results in the district's other counties.
In the unopposed races for freeholder nomination, Republican incumbents Patrick Scaglione and Mark Caliguire received 11,856 and 11,768 votes, respectively, while Democrats Anthony Pranzatelli and William Galtieri tallied 6,097 and 5,971 votes.
In the unopposed races for county clerk, Republican incumbent Brett Radi received 12,022 votes while Democrat Joan Pritchard garnered 6,236 votes.
In the Democratic primary for 16th Assembly, Marie Corfield received 1,574 votes while Sue Nemeth got 538 votes. Republican incumbent Donna Simon received 3,482 votes.
This was the second time Lance has defeated Larsen in a primary. In 2010, Lance outpolled Larsen 56 percent to 31 percent with two other candidates receiving the remaining votes.
"I thank all of those who have made tonight's strong victory possible. Most especially, I thank my wife, Heidi, for her love and support, “ Lance said in a statement after he was declared the winner.
"Today the people of the 7th Congressional District have voted for fiscally conservative policies of lower taxes, less spending, balanced budgets and paying our bills fully and on-time. These policies will bring much-needed certainty to our Nation's economy,” Lance said.
"I am honored by the vote of confidence I received today and promise to continue the fight for fiscal responsibility in Washington," Lance said.
The Larsen campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lance, who was supported by municipal and county organizations in Somerset County, is running for his third term in the House of Representatives. The Hunterdon County resident also had the endorsement of Gov. Chris Christie.
Larsen, who ran as the conservative alternate to Lance, has characterized the Congressman as a “liberal Republican” who, with President Barack Obama and other Democrats, is “destroying” the country.
Lance will face Democrat Assemblyman Upendra Chivula in November’s general election.
Seventeen of Somerset County’s 21 municipalities are in the 7th District. The other four municipalities—Bound Brook, Franklin, Manville and South Bound Brook—are in the 12th District where incumbent Democrat Rush Holt will face Republican Eric Beck in November. Both were unopposed in the primary.
Democrats hold a razor-thin edge in voter registration in Somerset County. According to the county clerk’s office, there are 51,223 registered Democrats in the county and 51,175 registered Republicans. The remaining 99,265 voters are not affiliated with a political party.