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5th Legislative District (New Jersey)


5th Legislative District (New Jersey)

New Jersey's 5th Legislative District is one of 40 in the New Jersey Legislature. As of the 2011 apportionment, the district covers the Camden County municipalities of Audubon, Audubon Park, Barrington, Bellmawr, Brooklawn, Camden, Gloucester City, Haddon Heights, Lawnside, Magnolia, Mount Ephraim, Runnemede and Woodlynne; and the Gloucester County municipalities of Deptford Township, Harrison Township, Mantua Township, Wenonah, Westville and Woodbury.[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, the district had a population of 210,162, of whom 156,827 (74.6%) were of voting age. The racial makeup of the district was 120,979 (57.6%) White, 51,652 (24.6%) African American, 876 (0.4%) Native American, 5,896 (2.8%) Asian, 113 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 24,769 (11.8%) from some other race, and 5,877 (92.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 45,619 (21.7%) of the population.[2] The district had 146,755 registered voters as of November 2013, of whom 70,821 (48.3%) were registered as unaffiliated, 58,381 (39.8%) were registered as Democrats, 17,448 (11.9%) were registered as Republicans and 105 (0.1%) were registered to other parties.[3]


  • Political representation 1
  • 1965–1973 2
  • District composition since 1973 3
  • Election history 4
  • References 5

Political representation

For the 2014-2015 Session, the district is represented in the State Senate by Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D, Barrington) and in the General Assembly by Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (D, Camden).[4][5] The district had been represented in the Senate during this session by Donald Norcross (D, Camden) until his resignation in November 2014 upon his election to the United States House of Representatives. It had also been represented by Angel Fuentes (D, Camden) until his resignation on June 30, 2015 to become a deputy clerk for Camden County.


The 1964 Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims required legislative districts' populations be equal as possible. As an interim measure, the 5rd District in the 1965 State Senate election encompassed all of Ocean and Monmouth counties which elected two members of the Senate at-large. Republicans Richard R. Stout and William T. Hiering won this election for a two-year term.[6] For the 1967 and 1971 elections, the 5th consisted of only Monmouth County and elected two and three Senators respectively.[7][8] Republicans Stout and Alfred N. Beadleston won the 1967 election for a four-year term while Stout, Beadleston, and Republican Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina won in the 1971 election for a two-year term.[9][10]

Between 1967 and 1973, the 5th Senate District was split into two Assembly districts, each electing two members. As Monmouth County gained population following the 1970 Census, an additional Assembly member was elected at-large for the 1971 election. The members elected to the Assembly from each district are as follows:[9][11][10]
Session District 5A District 5B District 5 At-large
1968–1969 James M. Coleman (R) Joseph Azzolina (R)
Louis R. Aikins (R) Chester Apy (R)
1970–1971 John I. Dawes (R) James M. Coleman (R)
Joseph E. Robertson (R) Joseph Azzolina (R)
1972–1973 John I. Dawes (R) Eugene J. Bedell (D) Joseph E. Robertson (R)[A 1]
Brian Kennedy (R) Chester Apy (R)
  1. ^ Resigned on August 6, 1973 to join staff of the Turnpike Authority

District composition since 1973

Since the creation of the 40-district legislative map in 1973, the 5th District has always been based around the city of Camden and nearby suburbs. In the 1973 iteration of the map, the district began in Camden city and traveled southeast to Hi-Nella.[12] In 1981, some Camden County boroughs and Haddon Township were removed but added to the district were Gloucester City, Bellmawr, and Runnemede in Camden County and Deptford Township and Woodbury Heights.[13] No major changes were made to the district in the 1991 or 2001 reapportionments.[14][15] The 2011 apportionment added Audubon Park (from the 6th District) and Harrison Township, Mantua Township and Wenonah (all from the 3rd District). Municipalities that had been in the 4th District as part of the 2001 apportionment that were shifted out of the district as of 2011 are Woodbury Heights (to the 3rd District), and Hi-Nella, Somerdale and Stratford (all to the 6th District).[16] The 5th Districts is one of the few districts in the state to have ever elected only one party to all Senate and Assembly seats in every election since 1973.[17]

Election history

Session State Senate Assembly
John J. Horn (D)[n 1]
James Florio (D)[n 2] Ernest F. Schuck (D)
Ronald J. Casella (D)[n 3]
1976–1977 Walter Rand (D) Ernest F. Schuck (D)
Angelo Errichetti (D)[n 4]
1978–1979 Angelo Errichetti (D)[n 5] Walter Rand (D) Ernest F. Schuck (D)
1980–1981 Walter Rand (D) Ernest F. Schuck (D)
1982–1983 Walter Rand (D) Wayne Bryant (D) Francis J. Gorman (D)
1984–1985 Walter Rand (D) Wayne Bryant (D) Francis J. Gorman (D)
1986–1987 Wayne Bryant (D) Francis J. Gorman (D)[n 6]
Joseph J. Roberts (D)[n 7]
1988–1989 Walter Rand (D) Wayne Bryant (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
1990–1991[18] Wayne Bryant (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
1992–1993 Walter Rand (D) Wayne Bryant (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
1994–1995 Walter Rand (D)[n 8] Wayne Bryant (D)[n 9] Joseph J. Roberts (D)
Wayne Bryant (D)[n 9] Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D)[n 10]
1996–1997 Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
1998–1999 Wayne Bryant (D) Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
2000–2001 Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
2002–2003[19] Wayne Bryant (D) Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
2004–2005 Wayne Bryant (D) Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
2006–2007 Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
2008–2009 Dana Redd (D)[n 11] Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) Joseph J. Roberts (D)
2010–2011 Seat vacant Angel Fuentes (D) Donald Norcross (D)[n 12]
Donald Norcross (D)[n 12] Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (D)[n 13]
2012–2013 Donald Norcross (D) Angel Fuentes (D) Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (D)
2014–2015 Donald Norcross (D)[n 14] Angel Fuentes (D)[n 15] Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (D)
Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D)[n 16] 
Seat vacant[n 17] 
  1. ^ Resigned September 22, 1976 to join the Department of Labor and Industry
  2. ^ Resigned on January 3, 1975 following his election to Congress
  3. ^ Elected in November 1975 special election to complete the term of James Florio, sworn in on November 14, 1975
  4. ^ Elected to the Senate in November 1976 special election, sworn in on November 8, 1976
  5. ^ Terminated from the Senate on August 14, 1981 upon his conviction in the Abscam scandal
  6. ^ Resigned on March 16, 1987
  7. ^ Elected in July 28, 1987 special election, sworn into the Assembly on September 10, 1987
  8. ^ Died on January 6, 1995
  9. ^ a b Appointed to the Senate on February 9, 1995, elected to fill the remainder of the term in a November 1995 special election
  10. ^ Appointed to the Assembly on February 27, 1995
  11. ^ Resigned on January 5, 2010 to become Mayor of Camden
  12. ^ a b Resigned from the Assembly on January 19, 2010 to be sworn into the Senate, elected to remainder of term in November 2010 special election
  13. ^ Appointed to the Assembly on January 25, 2010, elected to remainder of term in November 2010 special election
  14. ^ Resigned on November 12, 2014 upon his election to Congress
  15. ^ Resigned June 30, 2015 to become a deputy county clerk
  16. ^ Appointed to the Senate on December 15, 2014
  17. ^ A replacement for Fuentes will be appointed by the Camden and Gloucester County Democratic Committees


  1. ^ Districts by Number, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 29, 2014.
  2. ^ DP-1: Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 - 2010 Demographic Profile Data for General Assembly District 5 (2010), New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed January 29, 2014.
  3. ^ Statewide Voter Registration Summary, New Jersey Department of State, November 28, 2013. Accessed January 29, 2014.
  4. ^ Legislative Roster 2014-2015 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed July 25, 2014.
  5. ^ District 5 Legislators, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed July 25, 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Districts by Number, New Jersey Legislature, backed up by the Internet Archive as of November 12, 2011. Accessed April 14, 2013.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Staff. "Vote Totals for the Elections Held on Tuesday in New York and New Jersey", The New York Times, November 9, 1989. Accessed June 18, 2010.
  19. ^ Staff. "THE 2001 ELECTIONS; RESULTS -- The Races for New Jersey", The New York Times, November 8, 2001. Accessed June 17, 2010.
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