By Art Gallagher
The Bayshore Tea Party Group Redistricting Committe, Middletown, submitted what they are calling “the only truly Constitutional Map released thus far in New Jersey’s decennial foray into map making” to Dr Alan Rosenthal, PhD, the 11th and tie breaking member of the State Redistricting Commission.
In his cover letter to Rosenthal, BTPG Redistricting Committee Chairman Sean Spinello, Esq., said that the group “set out to produce a non-gerrymandered map that protects the all-inclusive and singular most important community of interest – the franchised voters of the State of New Jersey.”
Without consideration for partisanship, incumbency or socio-economics, the group’s map was constructed based upon the Constitution requirements of population equality, contiguity, compactness, and keeping districts wholly within individual counties where possible and where not possible, splitting districts into as few counties as possible.
In a statement posted on the BTPG website, Patrick Murray of Monmouth University Polling Institute said,
“Except for what appears to be an inadvertent split of Egg Harbor Township between Districts 1 and 2 (which will requiring some re-tooling) the map’s parameters are solid. It also maintains and perhaps enhances minority representation (basically as well as the map proposed by the minority coalition!) and provides for real competition for control of the next legislature. Of course, it is unkind to incumbents, and thus contrary to what Rosenthal has laid out as his priorities. On the whole, a map worth adding to the discussion.
The map is unkind to incumbents. In Monmouth County, Senators Joe Kyrillos (Middletown) and Jennifer Beck (Red Bank) are both in a new 13th district comprised of Bayshore and Two River towns. Old Bridge is moved, along with incumbent Assemblyman Sam Thompson, from the current 13th to an all Middlesex County 19th. Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (Little Silver) would join Assemblywoman Amy Handlin as incumbents in the lower house.
The current 11th district would remain largely intact, adding Manasquan and Oceanport, and be renamed the 12th. Incumbents, Senator Sean Kean and Assembly members Dave Rible and Mary Pat Angelini would be unaffected.
The new 11th district would be comprised on Colts Neck, Farmingdale, Howell and Tinton Falls of Monmouth County and the Ocean County towns of Jackson and Lakewood. Senator Robert Singer (Lakewood) would be the incumbent with Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (Colts Neck). There would be a vacant Assembly seat in this district.
The town by town key of the BTPG “People’s Map” can be found here.
The Redistricting Commission is required to release the new map on April 3.