Incumbent Rep. Donald Norcross was re-nominated in New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District following Tuesday’s Democratic primary, easily defeating left-wing challenger Mario De Santis.
Norcross had won 80% of the vote with about half of the district’s precincts reporting when the race was called Tuesday evening.
Norcross, 63, is seeking a fifth term in the 1st District after representing the South Jersey counties of Camden, Gloucester and Burlington since 2014.
An electrician by trade, the lawmaker began his political career as an assemblyman in the New Jersey Legislature before serving as a state senator.
Norcross had defeated GOP candidate Claire Gustafson with 62.5% of the vote in the 2020 election.
De Santis, a 34-year-old middle school teacher and a self-described “progressive Democrat” based his campaign on the issues of health care and climate change — and claimed on his campaign website that he had tried to work with Norcross on both issues.
“The reality is any of our local or state representatives could have identified these systemic issues and had asked our federal representative to support legislation that would support healthcare and climate progress – no one did,” he wrote.
“I led a year-long initiative to pressure him on these issues. When there was no movement, I announced my primary challenge.”
On the Republican side, Gustafson won an uncontested race to set up a rematch with Norcross in which she is a decided underdog.
With AP wires