With several congressional seats up for grabs in New Jersey this November, the primary race has become a crowded one for both parties.

Steve Lonegan, one of NJ's prospective congressional candidates
Steve Lonegan, one of NJ's prospective congressional candidates (Kena Betancur, Getty Images)

On the heels of announcements that Reps. Jon Runyan (R-3rd) and Rush Holt (D-12th) would not seek re-election, numerous high-profile candidates have thrown their names into the ring.

In Ocean County, in additional to local candidates, Tea Party hopeful Steve Lonegan and conservative Tom McArthur have both recently purchased homes in the county and are running on the Republican ticket.

The Republican organizations of Ocean and Burlington counties have said they will be supporting McArthur -- who is expected to receive an official nomination at the party conventions at the end of March.

To date, none of the other candidates have withdrawn their nominations from the race, and can still be in the primaries.

"Anyone who wants to garner the nomination of either the Democratic or Republican Party, the petition filing deadline for the June primary is Monday, March 31," said Ocean County clerk Scott Colabella.

However, Colabella said that a candidate cannot lose the primary and then re-file as an independent.

"Once you have submitted your petition to seek the nomination of a political party and you're a candidate in the party, you don't get two bites of the apple," Colabella said.

However, even with voter bases divided among the candidates, Colabella said the winner of the June election won't have to get petition signatures for the November election.

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