- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Major party candidates will not be alone on November’s ballots for seats on the New Jersey Assembly.

Twenty third-party candidates and independents submitted petitions by Tuesday’s deadline to get their names on the ballots in Assembly races.

Fifteen of the state’s 40 districts will have at least one independent on the ballot. The candidates include seven members of the Green Party and three Libertarians.

The independents face long odds. In fact, in a state with district boundaries drawn to support the status quo, any victory by a major party challenger is considered a significant upset.

But history is even more stacked against the independents. New Jersey has had just two non-major-party members on its state Legislature in the last century.

One was short lived. Matt Ahearn was elected to the Assembly in 2002 as a Democrat but switched the next year to the Green Party before being promptly defeated in a re-election effort.

The other independent was Anthony Imperiale, who was a national symbol in the 1970s of the backlash against unrest among blacks. The Newark man was elected as an independent to the Assembly in 1971 and to the Senate two years later. He later served in the Senate as a Republican.

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