Jennifer Williams is clinging on to a narrow 11-vote lead in the runoff for the North Ward seat on the Trenton City Council over Algernon Ward in a contest that is unlikely to be settled tonight.
Williams is ahead, 401 to 390, with 100% of the vote counted.
An undetermined number of provisional — about 40 split between the North and South Wards — and mail-in ballots remain uncounted. Mail-in ballots dropped in secure ballot boxes before the 8 PM deadline will not be counted tonight. VBMs postmarked by 8 PM tonight will be counted if they arrive at the Mercer County Board of Elections by 8 PM on Monday.
Voter turnout for the North Ward runoff is at 7.8%.
If her lead holds in the non-partisan municipal election, Williams, the Trenton Republican municipal chair, would become New Jersey’s first-ever openly transgender elected official.
This would be the third consecutive loss for Ward, a historical reenactor and former state Health Department research scientist who previously ran for the same seat in both 2014 and 2018.
Williams finished in first place in November with 33% of the vote while Ward got 28%; missing the runoff were Merkle Cherry (22%) and Divine Allah (18%).
She had the endorsement of retiring Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson. Ward had the backing of both Cherry and Allah, who combined for 40% of the vote in November.
Ward, Cherry, and Allah are Black while Williams is white, and Williams’ support came disproportionately from whiter neighborhoods in the first round; since the North Ward is majority-Black.
This story was updated at 10:12 PM.