Level of support for President Trump could decide state Senate race

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New Jersey will hold a special election for state Senate when voters head to the polls next week – and the candidates’ level of support for President Donald Trump could end a deciding factor.

Freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew is the former senator from the state’s 1st District. Van Drew made headlines Thursday when he became one of only two House Democrats to vote against an impeachment inquiry into the president.

Democratic State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak was appointed to Van Drew’s position when Van Drew was elected to Congress. He is running against Republican attorney Mike Testa.

RELATED: Sharply divided House approves Dems' impeachment rules 

Micah Rasmussen, of the Rebovich Institute for NJ Politics, said Andrzejczak is in a tight race to keep his seat.

"The 1st District is still a Republican district. And Cape May County is still a Republican county. And so, he has really taken great pains to distinguish himself from [Democratic] Gov. [Phil] Murphy,” Rasmussen says.

Trump won District 1 by nine points in the 2016 election.

"I've run a very conservative campaign, I'm running as who I am. I am a conservative, I'm not ashamed to be a conservative,” says Testa.

MORE: Republicans fight to retain control of New Jersey’s 8th District 
MORE: State Republican representatives seek re-election in 21st District 

Testa has been the target of millions in attack ads from General Majority, a super PAC controlled by South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross.

"You can tell that this campaign is not being run by anyone who has any clue about Legislative District 1. It's being run by the outside. It's being run from Camden County,” says Testa.

But Andrzejczak says that he is focused on state issues and not on national politics.

"I'm focused on the people of the 1st District, I'm focused on New Jersey,” he says.

Rasmussen says that it is going to be a close race.

"This is a dogfight. This is going to be a question of turnout, who turns out,” he says.

Progressive Jeremiah Schenerman has launched a last-minute write-in campaign for the Senate seat, even though at 28 years old he is too young to be a state senator.

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