Results from the New Jersey Primaries: With Departures and Losses, Women’s Representation in New Jersey Could Decline

LAST UPDATED: 7.25.23 2:45pm ET

State legislative primaries were held on Tuesday in New Jersey. Full context about women in the 2023 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, is available via the Center for American Women and Politics’ (CAWP) Election Watch.

Among the most notable results for women:

  • Women are 22 of 75 (29.3%) major-party nominees selected for state Senate in New Jersey, including 15 of 40 (37.5%) Democrats and 7 of 35 (20.0%) Republicans. This is not a record high.
  • Women are 62 of 150 (41.3%) major-party nominees already selected for state Assembly in New Jersey, including 37 of 78 (47.4%) Democrats and 25 of 72 (34.7%) Republicans. This is not a record high.
  • 29 (19D, 10R) of 42 (28D, 14R) current women state legislators are nominees for re-election, and another 2 (2D) current assemblywomen are nominees for the state Senate, in November 2023.
    • Nine women incumbents – representing 21.4% of the current women legislators – did not run for re-election. This is a record high for the number of women incumbents leaving the New Jersey State Legislature in a single cycle, both by raw number and as a proportion of total representation.
    • In addition to the women not running for re-election, at least 2 (1D, 1R) more women incumbents will not return to the legislature in 2024: State Senator Nia Gill (D), who lost her bid for re-election against another incumbent following redistricting, and Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer (R), who lost a bid for the state Senate. Senator Gill is the longest-serving Black woman in the history of the New Jersey Legislature.

 

State Senate

Women currently hold 11 (8D, 3R) of 40 seats in the New Jersey State Senate. In 2023, 27 (18D, 9R) women, including 9 (7D, 2R) incumbents, filed as candidates for state Senate. All Senate seats are up for election this year.

Based on primary election results, women are 22 of 75 (29.3%) major-party nominees selected for state Senate in New Jersey, including 15 of 40 (37.5%) Democrats and 7 of 35 (20.0%) Republicans. This falls short of the record high for women state Senate nominees (25), set in election 2017. In 2023, 4 (3D, 1R) women candidates for state Senate were unsuccessful.

  • 8 (6D, 2R) women incumbents are nominees for re-election. Incumbent state Senator Nia Gill (D) was unsuccessful in her primary bid against another incumbent, state Senator Dick Codey (D). Gill has served in the New Jersey State Legislature since 1994.
  • 11 (6D, 5R) women won nominations to challenge incumbents in November.
  • 3 (3D) women won nominations for open-seat state Senate contests.

 

State Assembly

Women currently hold 31 (20D, 11R) of 80 seats in the New Jersey State Assembly. In 2023, 69 (41D, 28R) women, including 21 (13D, 8R) incumbents, filed as candidates for state Assembly. All Assembly seats are up for election this year.

Based on primary election results, women are 62 of 150 (41.3%) major-party nominees already selected for state Assembly in New Jersey, including 37 of 78 (47.4%) Democrats and 25 of 72 (34.7%) Republicans. This falls short of the record high for women state Assembly nominees (65), set in election 2021. In 2023, 7 (4D, 3R) women candidates for state Assembly were unsuccessful. 

  • 21 (13D, 8R) women incumbents are nominees for re-election.
  • 20 (10D, 10R) women have won nominations to challenge incumbents in November.
  • 21 (14D, 7R) women have already won nominations for open-seat state Assembly contests.

For full information about women in the 2023 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, see CAWP’s Election Watch.

CAWP Staff