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Tom MacArthur to Face Aimee Belgard in November Election

MacArthur will face Aimee Belgard in November.

Aimee Belgard (Patch File Photo)
Aimee Belgard (Patch File Photo)
Written by Daniel Nee and Anthony Bellano

A mayor and business executive who was previously largely unknown in New Jersey's third congressional district will have the chance to represent that district in Congress.

He will face an attorney who and current Burlington County Freeholder who received the endorsement of the Democratic committees in both Burlington and Ocean counties.

Tom MacArthur, a former Randolph Township mayor, handily defeated challenger Steve Lonegan – another former North Jersey mayor from Bogota – in a hard-fought and often ugly campaign that pitted the powerful Ocean County GOP establishment against a candidate with statewide name recognition despite few wins under his belt.

Aimee Belgard captured the Democratic nomination, defeating Bruce Todd and Howard Kleinhendler.

MacArthur drew early support from the established GOP organizations in Ocean and Burlington counties and trounced Lonegan – who, last November, lost a bid for U.S. Senate to Cory Booker – by more than 2,000 votes in Ocean County. MacArthur had garnered 7,468 votes to Lonegan's 5,102.

In Burlington County, MacArthur defeated Lonegan, 7,782-5,193.

"I just received a very gracious call from Steve Lonegan congratulating me on our victory," said MacArthur, on his Facebook page. "Thank you for all of your support! On to November!"

Belgard captured 3,424 votes in Ocean County for 79.33 percent of the vote, and 9,263 votes in Burlington County, where she won over 85 percent of the vote.

During the seemingly never-ending primary campaign, residents of the two counties were inundated with campaign flyers, robocalls and television commercials, with each candidate attacking the other. MacArthur painted Lonegan as a radical and out of touch with New Jersey voters, while Lonegan characterized MacArthur as being too far left for the taste of Republicans, especially on affordable housing issues.

In the end, the election likely came down to party support, especially in GOP-heavy Ocean County, where the Republican organization led by chairman George Gilmore holds significant pull over the party faithful.

MacArthur will likely be an early favorite due to the district's makeup. During the last congressional election cycle, the third district shed Democrat-leaning Cherry Hill and gained Republican-leaning Brick Township.
NObama June 04, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Go Tom!
paul johnson jr July 10, 2014 at 10:47 PM
I'll vote for him if he knows what the term BENNY means.

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