There is no drama left in New Jersey’s 7th district congressional race, but Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) saw just 214 votes shaved off his lead in Hunterdon County, where Republican Tom Kean Jr. performed as expected.
After 1,758 more votes were tallied, Malinowski now leads Kean by 5,008 votes, 216,715 to 211,707. The 50.6% to 49.4% race has been the same since Sunday.
Still, Kean won 56.1% in the latest Hunterdon County, a number that is consistent with his overall 55.8% tally in this typically Republican stronghold.
Kean, the minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate, carried Hunterdon by 9,628 votes. That’s about 2 ½ times better than Donald Trump’s relatively narrow 3,696-vote win in Hunterdon.
In 2016, Trump won Hunterdon by 9,814.
The New Jersey Globe projected Malinowski as the winner of the 7th district congressional race Tuesday night after additional votes were added to the tally from Union County.
Malinowski who unseated five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in 2018, was in front of Kean by 28,412 votes on election night.
The 7th district had been held by Republicans from 1956 until Malinowski ousted Lance two years ago by 16,200 votes, 51.7% to 46.7%.
Kean ran two points better in Hunterdon than Lance, who comes from an old Hunterdon political family – his father was Senate President, and his uncle was an assemblyman. – did in 2018.
That number is balanced a little by Malinowski, who performed one percent better than he did in his home county since his first race two years ago.