After a tight race that included a controversy over a video of the Republican seemingly telling constituents to go get their gun if they see his challenger, Democratic incumbent Jim Whelan held on to his State Senate seat in the Second Legislative District Tuesday night.
Whelan defeated Republican challenger and Atlantic County Sheriff Frank X. Balles, 26,372-21,909, according to unofficial results posted on aclink.org.
Whelan, a Senator since 2008 and an Assemblyman for two years prior to that, ran on his record of helping to create the Tourism District in Atlantic City and has supported a number of measures tightening gun control laws in the state. Balles was looking to reinstate the death penalty and had called for a state takeover of Atlantic City.
Balles also made headlines last month when he echoed a constituent’s call to “Go Get Your Gun,” if you see Whelan while speaking to the New Jersey Second Amendment Society.
In the Assembly race, Republican incumbents Chris Brown and John Amodeo defeated Democratic challengers Vincent Mazzeo and Nick Russo. Brown was the highest vote getter with 23,930, followed by Amodeo with 23,047. Mazzeo had 22,668, and Russo had 21,635.
Independent candidate Gary Stein collected 1,251 votes.
The Second Legislative District is comprised of Absecon, Atlantic City, Brigantine, Buena, Buena Vista, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Folsom, Hamilton, Linwood, Longport, Margate City, Mullica, Northfield, Pleasantville, Somers Point and Ventnor City.
Republican William Pauls won the at-large seat on the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, defeating Democrat Bard Shober, 32,280-25,859. Pauls defeated incumbent Republican Joe McDevitt in June’s primary.
Democrat Ernest Coursey ran unopposed in District 1, collecting 5,406 votes. There was one write-in.
In District 4, Galloway resident and Republican incumbent Rich Dase defeated Democratic challenger Brandi Endicott, 7,934-5,862.