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Sen. Jennifer Beck Ready To Work With Democrat Assembly-Elect

first_imgBy Muriel J. SmithAs sure as she is that Super Pac funds had an influence in Democrat candidates Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey taking two seats in the Assembly’s 11th district from the Republican incumbents, State Senator Jennifer Beck is just as sure the newcomers will work well together with her for the good of the people of the district.The upset victory by the Democrats over incumbents Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande was one of the largest surprises in the lighter than usual voter turnout last Tuesday. In spite of Democrats having more registered voters than Republicans in the district, it has traditionally voted for Republicans at the Senate and Assembly level.Beck, the state senator representing the district, told The Two River Times this week that the lower turnout also was an asset for the Democrats, noting that Neptune Township, where Houghtaling was raised, still lives and serves on the Township Committee, had a higher percentage of voters at the polls than the county in general. Beck attributed the lower turnout to people being disgusted with the negative campaigning that occurred and voters were simply turned off with voting at all.The NJ State Election Commission noted that more than $8.5 million from outside groups was spent on state contests last week, the highest ever recorded in the state’s history. A considerable portion of that money backed Houghtaling and Downey as well as other Democrat assembly hopefuls in South Jersey contested districts.With Angelini and Casagrande out in Trenton, Beck said she fully expects the new assembly members “will work together with me. That’s what we’re all elected to do, work for the people we represent, that’s why they sent us to Trenton in the first place.” The senator said the three officials will coordinate ideas and noted that she already knows Houghtaling is a hard worker and has been tireless for Neptune Township. Although she does not know Downey as well, she said she is anxious to work with her, knows her reputation as an attorney, and feels she is very bright and eager to do her best in the Assembly for the 11th district. “I look forward to working with both of them. At the end of the day, it’s all about being good representatives for all the people in our district.” Beck said.last_img

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