This is my first attempt at my home state. I grew up in the existing NJ-12 (Rush Holt’s district), and currently live in the existing NJ-3 (Jon Runyan’s to be district).
New Jersey’s current map is unfortunately a fractured mess.
I tried to do the following:
1. Maintain 1 Hispanic and 1 Black district.
2. Pair 1 incumbent from each side (in this case, Holt against Lance)
3. Maintain county boundaries better than the current map. I also attempted to maintain township borders.
The problem is Frank Pallone. He lives rather deep in Monmouth County (long branch, to be precise), and Monmouth is slowly treading Republican I believe. Chris Christie won 62% of the vote here last year. He also carries a lot of clout, so he’s not getting tossed into the ring.
The second problem is Jon Runyan. I didn’t see any easy way to throw him into a tossup even if he should get it.
I think in an ideal world, I’d throw Bergen county into its own district. But that would likely cause more havoc than its worth.
I don’t think either side can complain too much with this map, but thoughts are appreciated.
So, let’s get to it.
CD-1: Rob Andrews (Haddon Heights)
Extends into Cherry Hill a bit. Not much else to say. Now contains almost all of Camden County. Democrat favored.
CD-2: Frank Lobiondo (Ventnor)
Extends into south Burlington County. Republican favored, though not by much. I think a Democrat can win this open seat.
CD-3: Jon Runyan (Mount Laurel)
Our former Philadelphia Eagle has to move to his vacation home. One of the Republican heads of the redistricting commission is from Ocean County. He gets an Ocean County based district with a bit of Monmouth County left. Republican favored.
CD-4: Chris Smith (Hamilton)
A bit ugly, but no moreso than his current district. Some new terrority that fits him reasonably well. Republican favored.
CD-5: Frank Pallone (Long Branch)
Gets a nice, safe district with Edison, Trenton, some other heavy Asian Mercer County towns, and his old areas where he lives. Democrat favored.
CD-6: Rush Holt (Hopewell) vs. Leonard Lance (Clifton)
Showdown. Contains all the Brunswicks and the homes of both incumbents. I really cannot tell you who wins this.
CD-7: Albio Sires (West New York)
52% Hispanic. Democrat favored.
CD-8: Rodney Frelinghuysen (Morristown)
Fully contains Morris County, and half of Somerset County. Republican favored.
CD-9: Donald Payne (Newark)
56% black. Democrat favored.
CD-10: Bill Pascrell (Paterson)
Passaic, Essex, Union counties. Democrat favored.
CD-11: Steve Rothman (Fair Lawn)
Passaic, Essex, Hudson counties. Democrat favored.
CD-12: Scott Garrett (Wantage)
Leftovers. Holds several full counties. Picks up needed population in Hunterdon county, otherwise the same. Republican favored.