Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and his running mate Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz won tonight in LD21.
The Republicans survived a close contest against well-funded Democratic challengers Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman.
It was a major victory for Bramnick, who clung to his seat despite the awful turbulence caused by the Trump presidency and residue of the leader’s political ties to unpopular former Governor Chris Christie. But the finanically well-heeled Bramnick proved his survivability capability, as he stared down a very concerted effort by the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee (DACC), progressive allies, and the Union County Democratic Party.
Of note was Munoz’s win, too.
Early on, Bramnick received criticism for running ads only mentioning himself, bewildering critics who dismissed the tactic as selfish.
If Bramnick wins and Munoz loses, it would look absolutely awful, said one Republican source as time ticked down to Election Day.
It didn’t happen.
Also, Bramnick and Munoz’s win stopped the bleeding in Central Jersey for Repubblicans who until tonight suffered two straight years of hard losses, including a Westfield mayoral win by Demorat Shelley Brindle and U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski’s (D-7) 2018 defeat of incumbent Republican Leonard Lance. Tuesday night’s development could put a little spring in the step of Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21), Bramnick’s and Munoz’s running mate, who wants to dethrone Malinowski in 2020.