With the entire Legislature up for election, voters in New Jersey's June 7 primary have a crucial role to play.
There are only two contested Senate races in Philadelphia's South Jersey suburbs. Both contests feature candidates who can do well in Trenton.
In the Seventh District, The Inquirer endorses the incumbent, DIANE ALLEN, in the Republican primary over Carol Lokan Moore, an Edgewater Park businesswoman. The Seventh District includes portions of Bthe urlington County plus Camden County towns Merchantville and Pennsauken.
This is the second contest between the women, who also faced each other in 2003. The winner will face Gail Cook, of Beverly, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Moore, 65, who operates a bed-and-breakfast, is passionate about fiscal policy, but cannot match Allen's grasp of issues.
Also a fiscal conservative, Allen has a solid record as a social moderate who has won respect from voters in the Democratic-leaning district. She is not a rubber stamp for Gov. Christie, and recently opposed him on cutting funds for women's health clinics and making it harder for poor families to qualify for Medicaid.
A former TV news anchor, Allen, 63, is known for her compassion on issues ranging from making medical marijuana legal to providing adopted children access to their adoption records. A cancer survivor, Allen says she has unfinished work to do.
In the Fifth District, KEITH WALKER gets the nod in the Republican primary. His opponent is George A. Gallenthin 3d, 62, of Woodbury, a retired lawyer.
Walker, 54, is a former assistant business manager for Camden. He was fired by Mayor Milton Milan for speaking out against his policies, which was good since Milan was later convicted of corruption. Walker isn't afraid to speak the truth.
The GOP winner faces the incumbent, Donald Norcross, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary. The district includes parts of Camden and Gloucester Counties. For many years, its senator was Wayne Bryant, who was also convicted of corruption.