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2 Powerful Democrats Face Challenges In New Jersey Primary

NJ primary

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – There weren’t many competitive races on the ballot and voter turnout was likely to be less than 10 percent, but two powerful Democratic lawmakers were fighting to keep their jobs in Tuesday’s New Jersey primary.

Voters had until 8 p.m. Tuesday to select the candidates who will run in the November election.

Among the incumbents facing opposition were Sen. Ray Lesniak, who has been in the Legislature 34 years, and Joe Cryan, the Assembly Democratic leader. They were being opposed by candidates from a rival political faction in the mostly minority 20th District in Union County.

Lesniak was facing Elizabeth school administrator Jerome Dunn. Cryan and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano were being opposed by Elizabeth Board of Education affiliates Tony Monteiro and Carlos Cedeno.

“Education is most important to me,” said Deyanira Maisonet, a 30-year-old mother who has an 8-year-old at School 12 in Elizabeth and who voted early Tuesday morning for Monteiro.

“I want the most money for our schools as possible,” Maisonet said, adding that the race this year seemed closer than previous ones.

Edith Garfunkel, 80, of Elizabeth said she wants “someone who can do the best job for the city,” but she wouldn’t say who she thought that person was among those the candidates running.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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