The New Jersey Globe projects that veteran State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Oxford) has won the race for Warren County Surrogate, with Republicans also sweeping races for County Clerk, Sheriff and County Commissioner.
As of 10:45 p.m., Doherty, one of the most conservative members of the State Senate, leads Democrat Maureen McCabe by a 60%-32% margin.
County Commissioner Jason Sarnoski leads Democrat Theresa Bender Chapman 62%-35%. County Clerk Holly Mackey and Sheriff James McDonald ran unopposed.
Former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt appears to have the race to succeed Doherty locked up. He’ll likely be a state senator by December.
Doherty replaced Nancy Brown as the Republican candidate for surrogate. Brown dropped out of the race on Friday, citing personal reasons.
Brown, a longtime party stalwart, was nominated to run in an election created by the death of Kevin O’Neill, a three-term Republican, died on April 25 at age 76 with more than three years left in his term.
Doherty, a 59-year-old West Point graduate and the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has served in the legislature for 20 years, all of it in the minority.
He had served as a Warren County Freeholder from 2001 to 2004 – he unseated Democratic incumbent Ann Stone by 11 points — and as an assemblyman from 2002 to 2009.
Doherty won a special election for State Senate in 2009, defeating incumbent Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan) in the Republican primary for the seat left vacant earlier in the year when Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) resigned to take his seat in Congress.
Karrow had won a January 2009 special election convention against Doherty for Lance’s Senate seat by 52 votes, 195 to 143. Doherty won the June primary by 997 votes, 52.4% to 47.6%.