New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way certified the results of the July 7 primary election on Sunday, paving the way for county clerks to draw ballot positions for the general election today.
Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Rik Mehta defeated Hirsh Singh by 8,684 votes, 38%-36%, to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
Tricia Flanagan finished third with 18%, followed by Natalie Rivera (5%) and Eugene Anagnos (3%).
Mehta will face incumbent Cory Booker in November.
Booker defeated Lawrence Hamm, a former Newark school board member who co-chaired Bernie Sanders’ New Jersey presidential campaign, with 88% of the vote. That’s the highest percentage in a contested New Jersey U.S. Senate primary since Bill Bradley won 92% in 1990.
“My campaign is fully focused on solving our state’s and our nation’s biggest problems like the COVID-19 pandemic, writing legislation to get us back to normal, and save our small businesses from going under for good,” Mehta said. “The fact that it took over 30 days to count ballots shows once again the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of Phil Murphy’s administration and casts doubt in his ability to conduct a fair election; no election process should start without a debate and I’ve called on Cory to accept my invitation to debate with no answer. I’m ready to lead the way to a new and brighter future for all New Jersey. Unlike Cory Booker I show up for work and I’m ready to make New Jersey a place to live, not leave.”
Singh has filed for a recount in all 21 counties.
Some counties, including Essex and Passaic, have denied his application. He faces opposition to a recount in some counties. In Morris County, Judge Donald Minkowitz approved Singh’s request but required that the campaign post a $9,000 surety bond by tomorrow to cover the cost.
Superior Court Judge Jean Chetney has scheduled a hearing on Singh’s recount requests for Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties for August 31. That late date either signals that the application isn’t being taken seriously, or that the judge doesn’t realize that county clerks must begin printing their ballots before that date.
Way has certified Christian Onuoha as the Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 6th district. Onuoha won a write-in campaign after failing to secure enough signatures to get on the GOP primary ballot in March.
He will face 17-term Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
This story was updated at 10:46 AM to include comment from Mehta.