South Brunswick: The Dems’ (Forgotten?) Battleground LD16 Gin-Up Spot

South Brunswick faces an unforeseen local election this year to fill a seat left vacant by the late Mayor Frank Gambatese, where the GOP allies of state Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) feel some cold-sweat potential.

Redistricted into LD16 in 2011, South Brunswick has a stout Democratic Party foundation, built in part by the revered Mr. Gambatese. The burgh numbers around 25,000 registered voters, 8,000 of whom call themselves Democrats, while 3,500 counter with the Republican mantra.

South Brunswick Board of Education member Azra Baig – who serves as director of Muslim Community Outreach for the Phil Murphy-affiliated Victory 2017 Campaign – says Democrats need to do a better job in her hometown of reminding voters that November marks a critical election, particularly when it comes to LD16.

“Assemblyman [Andrew] Zwicker is a great representative of South Brunswick, but people need to remember that there is an election – including a local election – in South Brunswick in November,” Baig told InsiderNJ where she stood among the portents of Phil Murphy at the Rutherford Street Fair.

In a split district radiating November battleground vibes, Zwicker seeks reelection for the Democrats, while Bateman simultaneously seeks to hold on for the GOP. Baig maintains that Zwicker will need monster numbers in South Brunswick in order to prevail against Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire and former Assemblywoman Donna Simon, both running for the GOP. But so far she doesn’t yet feel a galvanized political culture on the ground.

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