1970 United States Senate election in New Jersey

The 1970 United States Senate election in New Jersey was held on November 3, 1970. Incumbent Democrat Harrison A. Williams defeated Republican nominee Nelson G. Gross with 54.02% of the vote.

1970 United States Senate election in New Jersey

← 1964 November 3, 1970 1976 →
  Harrison Williams(D-NJ).jpg 3x4.svg
Nominee Harrison A. Williams Nelson G. Gross
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,157,074 903,026
Percentage 54.02% 42.16%

1970 United States Senate election in New Jersey results map by county.svg
County Results
Williams:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Gross:      40–50%      50-60%

U.S. senator before election

Harrison A. Williams
Democratic

Elected U.S. senator

Harrison A. Williams
Democratic

Primary elections were held on June 2, 1970.[1]

Democratic primaryEdit

CandidatesEdit

CampaignEdit

Guarini ran as the candidate of the powerful Hudson County Democratic machine.[2]

ResultsEdit

Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harrison A. Williams (incumbent) 190,692 65.59
Democratic Frank Joseph Guarini 100,045 34.41
Total votes 290,737 100.00

Republican primaryEdit

CandidatesEdit

DeclinedEdit

CampaignEdit

Nelson Gross resigned his position as party chairman on April 9 to enter the race for Senate with the full-backing of Governor William T. Cahill. Cahill's support discouraged any serious contenders from challenging Gross in the primary.[2]

Gross was nonetheless privately criticized as a poor choice by some Republicans due to his ongoing investigation by the United States Department of Justice for involvement with a Mafia-backed labor union. The investigation was led by U.S. Attorney Frederick Bernard Lacey, who had been personally recommended to the Nixon administration by Senator Clifford Case. Case and Gross had been on uneven terms since Gross undermined Case's "favorite son" status at the 1968 Republican National Convention by bringing Bergen County delegates into the Nixon column.[2]

ResultsEdit

Republican primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Nelson G. Gross 150,662 65.39%
Republican James A. Quaremba 43,547 18.90%
Republican Joseph T. Gavin 36,208 15.71%
Total votes 230,417 100.00

General electionEdit

CandidatesEdit

  • Nelson G. Gross, former Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee and State Assemblyman (Republican)
  • Joseph F. Job, Bergen County Sheriff (Independent)[3]
  • Jules Levin (Socialist Labor)
  • Joseph S. Mans (Independent)
  • William J. O'Grady (Independent)
  • Harrison A. Williams, incumbent Senator since 1959 (Democratic)

CampaignEdit

Gross assailed Williams as a "radical liberal" and implied that he was involved in "influence peddling" for having sponsored special bills for about 70 Chinese seamen who jumped ship in the United States.[4]

In mid-October, President Richard Nixon campaigned for Gross as part of a one-day swing through Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin and New Jersey.[4]

DebatesEdit

Williams declined numerous calls for debates.[4]

EndorsementsEdit

Nelson Gross
U.S. executive branch officials
Newspapers
  • The Hackensack Record[6]
  • The Newark Sunday News[6]

PollingEdit

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Harrison
Williams (D)
Nelson
Gross (R)
Other Undecided
RSCC[4][a] October 15, 1970 ? ± ?% 36% 32% 3% 29%
  1. ^ Poll released by the Gross campaign.

ResultsEdit

1970 United States Senate election in New Jersey[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Harrison A. Williams (incumbent) 1,157,074 54.02%   7.89
Republican Nelson G. Gross 903,026 42.16%   4.84
Independent Joseph F. Job 58,992 2.75% N/A
Independent William J. O'Grady 12,938 0.60% N/A
Independent Joseph S. Mans 6,066 0.28% N/A
Socialist Labor Jules Levin 4,009 0.19%   0.11
Majority 254,048
Turnout 2,142,105
Democratic hold Swing

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "1970 Primary Election Results" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. 1970. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "GROSS QUITS AS G.O.P. CHAIRMAN IN JERSEY TO RUN FOR THE SENATE". The New York Times. 9 Apr 1970. p. 44. Retrieved 20 Aug 2021.
  3. ^ "Bergen Sheriff Plans to Run For Senate as Independent". The New York Times. 23 Apr 1970. p. 29. Retrieved 20 Aug 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e Sullivan, Ronald (15 Oct 1970). "Test for G.O.P. in Jersey". The New York Times. p. 53. Retrieved 20 Aug 2021.
  5. ^ "The New Jersey Senate Race". The New York Times. 19 Oct 1970. Retrieved 20 Aug 2021. In our opinion, the case for the re‐election of Senator Williams is clear and persuasive... Senator Williams is far and away the better choice.
  6. ^ a b c d "Gross Vows to Seek U.S. Aid for Jersey". The New York Times. 26 Oct 1970. p. 44. Retrieved 20 Aug 2021.
  7. ^ "1970 General Election Results" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. 1970. Retrieved May 4, 2019.