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15th Legislative District (New Jersey)

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Title: 15th Legislative District (New Jersey)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: The College of New Jersey, Shirley Turner, Robert Littell (politician), Reed Gusciora, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Wayne Dumont, John S. Watson (U.S. politician)
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15th Legislative District (New Jersey)

New Jersey's 15th Legislative district
File:Census Bureau map of New Jersey's 15th Legislative District.gif
New Jersey State Senator Shirley Turner (D)
New Jersey General Assemblymembers Reed Gusciora (D)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D)
Demographics 53.2% White
29.2% Black/African American
0.4% Native American
6.3% Asian
0.1% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
7.7% Other race
3.1% Two or more races
11.7% Hispanic
Population 204,558
Voting-age population 154,009

New Jersey's 15th Legislative District is one of 40 in the state, covering the Mercer County municipalities of Ewing Township, Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Pennington Borough, Princeton Borough and Trenton.[1] As of the 2010 United States Census, the district had a population of 221,026.[2]

As a result of New Jersey's decennial legislative redistricting process, the new 15th District from January 2012 to January 2022 will include the following municipalities: East Amwell Township, Ewing Township, Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, Lambertville City, Lawrence Township, Pennington Borough, Trenton City, West Amwell Township, and West Windsor Township.[3]

Demographic characteristics

The district includes New Jersey's capital, Trenton and a number of its comparatively wealthier suburbs to the north. The district has the smallest population of any district in the state, and has a comparatively higher percentage of African-American residents and a notable percentage of children in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by an almost 3 to 1 margin.[4][5]

Political representation

The district is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Shirley Turner (D, Lawrenceville) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Reed Gusciora (D, Princeton) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township).[6]

Election history

The district had been solidly Republican until 1982, when redistricting following the 1980 United States Census added Trenton to the district, and made the 15th a strongly Democratic district.[7][8] The 1981 elections brought in Democrats Gerald R. Stockman in the Senate, along with Gerald S. Naples and John S. Watson in the Assembly. The trio remained together in office for a decade.

New Jersey Lottery television host Dick LaRossa ran as a Republican in 1991, having registered with the party only five days before that year's filing deadline. He defeated incumbent Gerald R. Stockman by a narrow 50.9%-49.1% margin.[9] His Republican running mate John W. Hartmann knocked off Naples, while Democrat Watson was narrowly re-elected to a sixth term in office. Hartmann, a 24-year-old student at the Seton Hall University School of Law, became the youngest Republican ever elected to the Assembly.[10]

In the 1993 elections, Democrats sought to recoup their losses suffered in the 1991 Republican landslide. In the Assembly, Shirley Turner and Joseph Yuhas ran for office, winning back Hartmann's seat from the Republicans. LaRossa faced Stockman for a second time in 1993, with the incumbent receiving endorsements from the AFL-CIO, locals of the Communication Workers of America and the New Jersey State Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.[11] LaRossa won re-election despite the challenge.[12]

Yuhas stepped down after a single term in office and was replaced on the ballot in 1995 by Reed Gusciora.[13]

Session State Senate[7] Assembly[8]
1976-1977 Wayne Dumont Donald J. Albanese Robert Littell
1978-1979 Wayne Dumont Donald J. Albanese Robert Littell
1980-1981 Donald J. Albanese Robert Littell
1982-1983 Gerald R. Stockman Gerald S. Naples John S. Watson
1984-1985 Gerald R. Stockman Gerald S. Naples John S. Watson
1986-1987 Gerald S. Naples John S. Watson
1988-1989 Gerald R. Stockman Gerald S. Naples John S. Watson
1990-1991[14] Gerald S. Naples John S. Watson
1992-1993 Dick LaRossa John W. Hartmann John S. Watson
1994-1995[12] Dick LaRossa Shirley Turner Joseph Yuhas
1996-1997 Reed Gusciora Shirley Turner
1998-1999[15] Shirley Turner Reed Gusciora Bonnie Watson Coleman
2000-2001[16] Reed Gusciora Bonnie Watson Coleman
2002-2003[17] Shirley Turner Reed Gusciora Bonnie Watson Coleman
2004-2005[18] Shirley Turner Reed Gusciora Bonnie Watson Coleman
2006-2007 Reed Gusciora Bonnie Watson Coleman
2008-2009 Shirley Turner Reed Gusciora Bonnie Watson Coleman
2010-2011 Reed Gusciora Bonnie Watson Coleman


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