The race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination to pick Cory Booker’s opponent has tightened over the last few days, but Rik Mehta maintains a steady lead over rival Hirsh Singh.
Mehta, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official, leads by 5,463 votes, 37.8% to 36.2%.
Nearly 80,000 more votes were counted last week, with thousands more provisional and potentially curable ballots still not included in the totals.
The July 7 primary election was held almost entirely through vote-by-mail ballots after in-person voting was limited to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Mehta’s lead has shrunk to less than half his 13,006-vote margin from last week, but the percentage of his lead has remained largely the same: he’s now 1.6 points up, up from 1.1.
Tricia Flanagan has a lock on third place with 17.7% and trails Singh by 61,295 votes. Natalie Rivera is at 5.25%, and Gene Anagnos has just under 3%.
The New Jersey Globe called the race for Mehta on more than a week ago and there is no indication that he won’t win the nomination.
Singh has amassed massive pluralities in the four South Jersey counties where he has the organization line.
He leads Mehta in Ocean County by a gargantuan 34,068 votes (74%-11%), in Atlantic by 8,642 (77%-12%), Cape May by 5,600 (74%-15%), and Cumberland by 3,448 (65%-18%).
There are still huge quantities of votes left to be counted in two large counties where Mehta has strong leads: Bergen, where he is ahead by 32 points and Monmouth where he’s up by more than 36 points.