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Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Lower Township Businessman Declares Victory in 2nd District Race

Lower Township Businessman Declares Victory in 2nd District Race

By Vince Conti

Joseph Salerno
Joe Salerno for Congress Facebook page
Joseph Salerno

Lower Township businessman Joseph Salerno has declared victory in his race for the Democratic nomination for the House in the 2nd District, but his opponent has not conceded, and the final vote has not yet been certified.

In a statement Thursday, June 13, Salerno said he had overcome early poll projections and is looking forward to campaigning against incumbent Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew. If the vote holds up, the race will feature two candidates from Cape May County.

The results have not yet been certified; the state requires certification by June 17. Salerno’s opponent, civil rights attorney Tim Alexander, has not conceded. He asked supporters Thursday via social media to “stay positive and united.”

With 95% of the vote in, Salerno holds a 232-vote lead over Alexander, who was making a second try at ousting Van Drew, who won their first encounter handily in 2022. The latest unofficial results, as reported by The New York Times, show Salerno with 13,378 votes, compared to Alexander’s 13,146. Sea Isle City’s Carolyn Rush has 7,758 and Rodney Dean Sr. has 1,219.

The 2nd District sprawls over six counties, taking in all of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties and parts of Gloucester and Ocean counties. Unofficial results to date show Salerno winning Cape May County with 51% of the vote to Alexander’s 24%, and Gloucester with 37% to Alexander’s 34%. Alexander is winning the other four counties, but not by enough to overturn the total vote lead for Salerno.

Salerno did not have the endorsement of any of the six county Democratic organizations and so may have benefited from the lack of a party line ballot format for the Democratic primary. The county line format was banned for the Democratic primary as a result of litigation filed by Rep. Andy Kim, who was trying to forestall the benefits of local party organization endorsements for Tammy Murphy, Gov. Phil Murphy’s wife, who subsequently withdrew from the race. Kim won the Democratic nomination for the Senate and will face South Jersey businessman Curtis Bashaw in the fall.

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at


Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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