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Former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot. (Photo: Paul DeGroot).

DeGroot holds narrow lead in 11th district Republican primary

Contest to face Sherrill remains too close to call

By Joey Fox, June 08 2022 12:56 am

Former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot holds a narrow lead over Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen for the Republican nomination in the 11th congressional district, but the race remains too close to call. As of 12:55 a.m., DeGroot led with 39.6% (11,961 votes), while Selen had 35.1% (10,615).

Further back was U.S. Army veteran Toby Anderson, with 19.7% (5,967), while two minor candidates, Ruth McAndrew and Alex Halter, brought up the rear.

DeGroot’s lead likely makes him the favorite to win the nomination, but it’s not clear what votes are still outstanding, and it may still be a little while before two-term Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) knows the identity of her opponent.

Selen had been the primary frontrunner since he narrowly won the Morris County Republican convention in March against state committeeman Larry Casha, who dropped out shortly after his convention loss.

But neither DeGroot nor Anderson deferred to Selen, and the first-term county commissioner wasn’t able to establish a dominant lead in the race. DeGroot in particular remained an active threat; he had the backing of the Passaic County Republicans, who make up a small portion of the district, and used his own money to keep up with Selen’s modest fundraising.

Sherrill, meanwhile, was unopposed in her primary and has stockpiled a huge cash advantage ahead of the November general election. While the 11th district was held by a Republican as recently as 2018, the state’s newly drawn congressional map made the district significantly more Democratic, and national Republicans don’t seem eager to put up a real fight against Sherrill.

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