Republican incumbents in the redrawn 9th Legislative District are going into new regions — trying to find additional voters in Republican-leaning Atlantic County towns.
Galloway Township and Port Republic have been added to the district, which sees Republicans Sen. Chris Connors, Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove and Assemblyman Brian Rumpf facing off against Democratic Senate candidate Dorothy Ryan and Assembly candidates Carla Kearney and Bradley Billhimer in November.
Connors said he and his running mates plan to highlight their record of responsiveness to the constituency, working to build inroads in that constituency’s newest additions.
“We have a proven record of representing the people of the 9th Legislative District, and they’ve responded to the message time and time again,” Connors said.
Connors said he isn’t concerned about the recent reapportionment of the 9th District and is looking forward to representing all of its constituents.
“Our district is wonderful and I don’t see any changes to the characteristics of our district,” he said. “Most of the district is virtually intact with slight variations. We don’t see those variations as changing the makeup of the district.”
Rumpf said the ticket is pleased with the redistricting process and that the district picked up some great new communities — Galloway Township, Port Republic, Tabernacle and South Toms River Seaside Park. Rumpf said the district’s politicians have been spending a lot of time in Galloway Township, the largest municipality the district gained.
The district lost Folsom, Manchester, Lakehurst and Hammonton.
Voters in the new towns will vote for the 9th district candidates in November, but the reapportioned map will not go in effect until the new Legislature is sworn into office in January.
The 9th District’s Democratic candidates plan to campaign on protecting middle-class families and seniors on fixed incomes.
Ryan, a former Barnegat Township committeewoman, called the heavily Republican district a challenge for her ticket, but she and her running mates are up for the test.
“The biggest challenge is that the district is totally Republican,” she said. “However, because Galloway is a new town we’re on an even-footing going into Galloway.”
In an email, Kearney said she decided to run for Assembly after being asked by county Democratic leadership.
Kearney said she is interested in focusing on funding women’s health programs and maintaining Medicare and Social Security for those who have worked so hard to earn it. She hopes to change the atmosphere and attitude in Trenton and bring respect and honesty back to the people.
“I plan to campaign for all voters in the 9th District. I plan to win in District 9, and I plan to serve all the constituents in my district, no matter what,” she wrote.
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