With three hours to go before the New Jersey Republican State Committee members meet to elect a new chairman, Michael Lavery is holding his lead over Bob Hugin in a race for a six-month unexpired term.
Lavery leads Hugin 23 to 16, according to a New Jersey Globe vote tally.
Hugin plucked one vote away from Lavery but has also seen another previously viewed as one of his supporters move into the undecided column.
Larry Casha, the state committeeman from Morris County, told the New Jersey Globe that he is still undecided.
“I don’t know who I’m voting for,” Casha said.
The NJ Globe has been unable to verify who two other states committee members — Darlene Shotmeyer of Bergen and Irene Kim Asbury of Hudson – will vote for.
Salem County State Committeeman Michael Mulligan has decided to vote for Hugin.
“I committed to Bob Hugin,” Mulligan said. “I was integral in helping Salem the year he ran. I think he went to two Cowtown rodeos in the summer.”
Mulligan said he decided to vote for Hugin after the former U.S. Senate candidate called him late yesterday.
A former Salem County Solicitor, Mulligan was the Republican candidate for State Senate in the 3rd legislative district against Senate President Steve Sweeney in 2011.
Hugin also added a vote late yesterday from Matthew Conlon, who was appointed to fill the vacant Passaic County seat on Monday.
Lavery is getting two votes each from Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Mercer, Middlesex, Sussex and Warren counties. He also has single votes from: Ben Focarino of Bergen; Steve Solomon in Burlington; Christina Ramirez of Morris; former Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher of Ocean; Susan Enderly of Passaic; Joan Melino of Salem; and Bernards Township Committeewoman Janice Fields of Somerset.
Hugin has two votes each from Atlantic, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Monmouth and Union. Additionally, he is receiving votes from former Moorestown Mayor Victoria Napolitano of Burlington, Joshua Einstein-Sotomayor of Hudson, Freeholder Virginia Haines of Ocean, Al Gaburo of Somerset, Conlon and Mulligan.