N.J. state senator wins Dem nomination in bid to replace LoBiondo

N.J. state senator wins Dem nomination in bid to replace LoBiondo
New Jersey state Sen. Jeff Van Drew won his Democratic primary race on Tuesday night in a bid to replace retiring GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority LoBiondo launches consulting firm Live coverage: House elects new Speaker as Dems take charge MORE.
 
The Associated Press called the race for Van Drew at 9:30 p.m. EDT.
 
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Democratic Party officials in New Jersey and Washington believed Van Drew would give Republicans the toughest challenge in a district President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE won by almost 5 points in 2016. 
 
But the candidate also faced questions over his voting record, having bucked the national Democratic Party on issues like gun control, taxes, abortion and the environment.
 
Van Drew likely benefited from progressives splitting their votes among other candidates in the primary: Tanzie Youngblood, Nate Kleinman and Will Cunningham. 
 
Van Drew will face off against Seth Grossman, a local attorney who bested engineer Hirsh Singh, among others, in the Republican primary. 
 
Dave Wasserman, an elections analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, called the seat one of the best chances for Democrats to flip a red seat in the country this cycle. 
 
— Updated at 10:58 p.m.