A Race Too Close to Call in 16th District


The 16th District State Assembly race for two seats was too close to call Tuesday night, with some provisional ballots still to be counted.

Republican incumbent Jack Ciattarelli was the top vote-getter with 16,526 votes, according to MyCentralJersey.com.


As of about midnight, Democratic challenger Andrew Zwicker led Republican incumbent Donna Simon by just 30 votes. Zwicker had 16,213 votes to Simon’s 16,183. Democratic challenger Maureen Vella had 15,953 votes.

A Princeton resident and a physicist at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Zwicker received an endorsement from former U.S. Rep. Rush Holt.

Zwicker and Vella, a former municipal court judge and Hillsborough resident, ran an aggressive campaign that connected the Republicans with Gov. Chris Christie, whose approval rating has dropped in the state as he campaigns for the United States presidency.

The 16th District includes four counties: Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon and part of Middlesex. The district was redrawn in 2011. Previously Princeton was in the 15th District, a Democratic stronghold. Hunterdon and Somerset counties are Republican strongholds. Ciattarelli and Simon won those counties. Zwicker and Vella dominated in Princeton and South Brunswick. Labor unions and young people were out in force Tuesday knocking on doors to get out the vote for the Democrats.


  1. If Mr. Zwicker prevails, I believe it is a historic first for the 16th District, which has always been under Republican control even though there have been squeakers in the past like this one. It also might reflect the influence of heavily Democratic Princeton and South Brunswick, which were moved to the 16th from the 15th after the 2010 census. I wonder what the vote breakdown was by town.

    1. Historic indeed. Historically higher taxes, historically intrusive government, historically unqualified folks in government. New Jerseyans vote yet again for bigger problems. The Middle Class will really enjoy paying the bill. Don’t complain, YOU voted for it.

  2. @ Community Conscience: We’re getting killed NOW with high taxes, intrusive gov’t and I dare say an out of touch party that’s been running the show. Gotta try SOMETHING different!

    1. Glad you agree that the majority party (Democrats) are out of touch. Let’s try something different. They OWN the mess that is NJ.

      1. Your biting sarcasm is duly noted. And btw – the abomination that is Chris Christie isn’t exactly Democratic.

        1. Not sarcasm, it’s simply the truth. And Christie VETOED Democratic tax increase after Democratic tax increase, time after time.

          1. And he also killed the already in progress ARC commuter rail project – one of the most short-sighted actions by a politician EVER – as it was already sorely needed BEFORE Sandy compromised the century year old rail infrastructure further – causing what is now one of the biggest messes of how to deal with getting New Jerseyans in and out of NYC in any sort of reasonable fashion. That’s only one of NUMEROUS messes that “Governor Soprano” has saddled us with – thanks to his arrogance, hubris and predilection for outright corruption.

            1. Nope, they’re going to build it. But on terms favorable to the NJ taxpayer. Below is a photo from August with Christie meeting with Booker and Menendez. After Corzine, it’s hard to recognize a governor who works on behalf of the people of NJ – I realize that.

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