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Tom MacArthur, left, the Republican candidate in the U.S. Congressional District 3 race, speaks during a debate with Democratic candidate Andy Kim, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, Pool)

MacArthur holds narrow lead

Race could take days — or weeks — to be decided

By David Wildstein, November 07 2018 3:52 am

Two-term Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) holds a narrow 2,315 vote lead in his bid for re-election against Democrat Andy Kim in a race that will not be decided for days — or even weeks.

MacArthur leads 136,408 to 134,093.

There are over 15,000 vote-by-mail ballots and an undetermined number of provisional ballots that still need to be counted.  Ballots postmarked by Tuesday will be accepted by elections officials until Thursday.

MacArthur carried Ocean County by 30,191 votes (60.9%), while Kim won Burlington County by 27,876 (59.5%).  100% of the machine votes in Ocean are in, while 98.2% of the Burlington votes are included in the total.

A third candidate, Lawrence Berlinski, received 3,632 votes.

Elections officials in both counties are expected to resume counting VBM ballots tomorrow.  Provisional ballots will not be counted until Friday at the earliest.

Potentially complicating the count is the defeat of Burlington County Clerk Tim Tyler, a Republican, in his re-election bid.  If his office moves slowly over the next few days, it’s possible that the Board of Elections will not be ready to count on Friday.

Unless the Murphy administration orders differently, it’s possible that the count might not begin until Tuesday, when election workers return from the Veterans Day holiday.

MacArthur is seeking his third term in the House.  Kim is a former Obama White House staffer making his first bid for public office.

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