Not a single Democrat has charmed the majority of voters of the 30th Legislative District in New Jersey since it was formed 18 years ago, and that trend continued last night, with voters overwhelmingly re-electing the two Republican incumbent assemblymen. Assemblyman Joseph R. Malone garnered 45,644 votes and Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer earned 44,314 in the district, which covers parts of Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington and Mercer counties.The Democratic challengers did not come close. Bill Spedding, a retired NJ Transit employee from Jackson, walked away with 16,990, and businessman John Kocubinski, a former Burlington County freeholder and North Hanover township committeeman, pulled 17,513 votes.
Those numbers reflect unofficial results, and do not include one voting district in Monmouth County for which results were not available late Tuesday night.
This could be the final term for Malone, 60, a retired school administrator who has served in the Assembly since 1993. He vowed during his campaign that he will not seek reelection in two years if the Legislature continues to ignore his cost-cutting suggestions.
“If I can’t make a difference, I don’t want to be there,” said Malone, the Republican budget officer.
Jack Weber, a voter in Lakewood, was not impressed with Malone’s promise.
“OK, so where’s he been the last 12 or so years?” asked Weber, 63, adding that he wished all incumbents, including Malone and Dancer, would be voted out of office.
Dancer, 60, said he will focus on fighting “runaway spending and taxing” during his next term.
An assemblyman since 2002, Dancer also has served as mayor of Plumsted since 1990. New Jersey banned dual-office holding in 2007, but legislators like Dancer, who held multiple offices as of Feb. 1, 2008, were grandfathered into the system.
However, Dancer said, he is no “double dipper.” He does not draw a salary or receive any benefits in his capacity as mayor, he said.
“I’m a volunteer in my community,” Dancer said. “I could double my (mayoral) salary and it would not impact the budget at all.”