Rik Mehta has grown his lead in the Republican U.S. Senate primary to 7,797 votes over rival Hirsh Singh, according to a new batch of results from the July 7 primary election.
Mehta leads Singh by more than two percentage points, 39.6% to 37.2% in the race to pick a challenger for Democratic incumbent Cory Booker.
Tricia Flanagan is locked into third place with 18.6% after 331,721 ballots were counted. She’s followed by Natalie Rivera (5.5%) and Gene Anagnos (3.1%).
Singh and Flanagan have not yet conceded the election. Both want to wait until the results are certified later this week.
The New Jersey Globe called the race for Mehta on July 10, three days after a primary election conducted almost entirely through vote-by-mail ballots.
At that time, Mehta led Singh by five percentage points, 39%-34%, with a margin of 12,532. On July 19, Mehta’s lead had dropped to 5,463 votes, 37.86 to 36.2%.
With several days of vote-counting to go, Mehta, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official, has at no point been out of first place.
Singh’ pluralities exploded in the four counties he had organization lines – Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean – where he leads Mehta by 53,970 votes, 73.5% to 10.6%.
Mehta beat Singh by 61,767 votes, 49.8% to 24.8%, in the 17 counties where he had the support of Republican county chairs.
In Warren County, where Mehta had the organization endorsement, Singh leads by 40 votes.
Flanagan won 21.2% in the counties where Mehta had party endorsements and 10.8% in the four counties backing Singh. She had initially led in Passaic County, but new ballots now but her in second place, 162 votes behind Mehta.
Rivera and Flynn didn’t break double-digit percentages in any of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
Harrison W. Lavelle assisted with this story.