Home>Campaigns>Pearson takes bigger lead in Cumberland Dem freeholder primary

Former Cumberland County Freeholder Donna M. Pearson

Pearson takes bigger lead in Cumberland Dem freeholder primary

Ex-freeholder, running off-the-line, is now in 2nd place

By David Wildstein, July 11 2020 4:05 pm

Donna Pearson has now surged to second place in the Cumberland County Democratic freeholder primary and incumbent George Castellini is now in third with a 149-vote lead over his running mate, Bruce Cooper.

Castellini had been running a comfortable second since Tuesday night in a race that has seen the lead for the third seat rotate between Pearson and Cooper.

Incumbent Carol Musso continues to be in first place with 6,761 votes followed by Pearson (5,711) and Castellini (5,677).  Cooper is running fourth with 5,528, followed by Tracey Wells-Huggins (5,115) and incumbent Jack Surrency (4,745).

Pearson picked up 1,548 votes after the latest count, while Castellini added 1,333 and 1,382 extra votes for Cooper.

Pearson, a Bridgeton city councilwoman and freeholder who has been out of office since 2003, ran off-the-line on a ticket headed by Surrency.  Cumberland County Democrats had dropped Surrency from their slate and replaced him with Cooper, a Millville commissioner.

Pearson, Surrency and Wells-Huggins were bracketed on the ballot with Amy Kennedy. Kennedy won 52% of the vote in Cumberland in her successful bid for the Democratic congressional nomination.

About 2,400 provisional Election Day votes remain uncounted.  Ballots that were postmarked by 8 PM on July 7 will also be counted if they arrive at the county Board of Elections by close of business on Tuesday.

Surrency has called on Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to install election monitors at the county election office to supervise the count.

“Cumberland County has a recent history of inaccurate ballot counts utilizing technology,” Surrency said on Thursday. “We want monitors to oversee the counting of the remaining 2,000 paper ballots and we want a complete hand count of all paper ballots.”

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