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Trenton turnout surges in early afternoon

Votes on pace to eclipse 2014 totals

By Nikita Biryukov

After a slow but steady start in Trenton this morning, voters are starting to come out in droves.

Campaign estimates show increased turnout compared to the runoff election in 2014, which saw Paul Perez, who also made the runoff this year, face off against Erik Jackson, who eventually became the city’s mayor.

The morning hit off with a slow start. Vote totals for 10AM., four hours after polls opened, were slightly above where they might have been last cycle, but voter activity jumped as lunchtime hours approached

Both campaign headquarters were a blur of activity.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora’s campaign, headquartered out of a Baptist church roughly a mile from the statehouse complex, was in a flurry, with volunteers and staff moving in and out of the building at near breakneck speeds.

Perez’s campaign took a slightly different tack, using its traditional headquarters mainly for phone operations while bussing campaign volunteers and voters around from the location of its post-campaign celebration. The Perez campaign’s Broad Street headquarters was still used, but its role was to be the base of Perez’s phone operation for the day.

The two candidates didn’t hesitate to put canvassers out in force on election day. It was common to see more than one volunteer holding a sign belonging to either campaign on a given corner in the heart of the city.

Such presence thinned, as it always does, in the further reaches of Trenton, but there too the preparation taken in past weeks was apparent. Signs belonging to either campaign were present around the city, with Gusciora signs edging those of Perez in number, if only slightly.

Polls won’t close for quite some time, and turnout is expected to pick up even more later in the day, as working Trentonians – those that did not vote early in the morning – get done with the day’s labor and head to the polls.

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