County Commissioner Tayfun Selen defeated former Kinnelon Council President Larry Casha to win the Morris County Republican organization line for Congress on Friday.
Selen beat Casha in the runoff election by 15 votes, 240 to 225, 51.6%-48.4%.
The win makes Selen the clear front-runner to take on two-term Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) in New Jersey’s 11th district.
Essex County Republicans are widely expected to award their line to the winner of the Morris convention.
It’s not immediately clear if Casha will continue his race without organization backing.
A third candidate, former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot, said this week that he will stay in the race through the June primary election. DeGroot finished fourth in the first round of voting in Morris last week but has already secured the organization line in Passaic County.
In last Friday’s voting, Selen finished first with 169 votes, but his 34.8% fell far short of the 50% he needed for a first ballot win. Casha, the Republican state committeeman from Morris County, secured a second-ballot berth by just five votes, 118 to 113, against Toby Anderson, a U.S. Army veteran and late entrant into the race. DeGroot, who had been viewed as a possible contender for the runoff, received 65 votes in his fourth place finish. Two other candidates trailed: attorney Larry Friscia (14) and former Ridgefield Park Councilman Robert Kovic (6).
Friscia and Kovic have since dropped out of the race. Friscia endorsed Casha and Kovic is backing Selen.
Morris GOP leaders sent people home around 12:15 AM last Saturday morning, about six hours after the convention began, following problems with voting machines.
On Wednesday, Morris County Republicans spent more than an hour hearing an appeal from another candidate, U.S. Army veteran Toby Anderson, who argued that the entire vote should be repeated as a result of problems. Anderson had come within five voters of defeating Casha for the second runoff berth. Party leaders turned him down.