New NJ map could pit Democrat, Republican against each other

Democrats in New Jersey have submitted their proposal for the state's new congressional map, drawing Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman and Republican Rep. Scott Garrett into the same district.

The tie-breaking member of the state's redistricting commission could choose as early as today between the Democratic map and a Republican map that has not been made public, the Star-Ledger reported.

Democrats, under their map, would have six safe seats in New Jersey, while five would go for Republicans and one would be competitive for both parties. If the Democratic map stands, Rothman and Garrett could face each other in a general-election square-off to save their spot in the House.

New Jersey lost one seat in the once-per-decade map-redrawing process due to population growth that was slower than in other parts of the country. Democrats wanted two Republican districts to be merged and Republicans wanted the opposite, but the commission system made it more likely that both parties would take a hit.

The redistricting fight in New Jersey, which didn't get started in earnest until December, has been remarkably muted and tame in comparison to the all-out slugfests that have characterized the processes in other states this year.

John Farmer Jr., the tie-breaking swing vote on the commission, has set a goal of resolving the new map by Christmas.