Home>Campaigns>Williams ahead by 11 votes in Trenton North Ward nail-biter

Jennifer Williams. (Photo: Jennifer Williams).

Williams ahead by 11 votes in Trenton North Ward nail-biter

No winner in Trenton City Council runoff contest expected tonight

By Joey Fox and David Wildstein, December 13 2022 10:08 pm

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.

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