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Democrats maintain a narrow lead in the race for State Assembly in the 2nd district, which just 435 votes separating incumbent John Armato (D-Buena Vista) and Republicans John Risley and Phil Guenther.
Incumbent Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) is in first place with 21,860 votes, followed by Armato at 20,604. Risley and Guenther are each at 20,169.
According to the machine vote released the Atlantic County Clerk on Tuesday evening, Guenther has 17,952 votes, followed by Risley (17,906), Mazzeo (17,137) and Armato (16,101).
Unofficial vote-by-mail numbers add 4,723 votes for Mazzeo, 4,503 for Armato, 2,263 for Risley and 2,217 for Guenther.
The New Jersey Globe has learned that there are 1,714 provisional ballots in the 2nd district portion of Atlantic County. Of those, 405 are from Atlantic City and 128 from Pleasantville – both Democratic strongholds – which gives Mazzeo and Armato a clear edge.
There are about 500 VBM ballots that remain uncounted, the Globe has learned. Additional mail-in ballots postmarked by yesterday will be accepted at the Atlantic County Board of Elections until close of business on Thursday.
This is Mazzeo’s second close election.
In 2014, Mazzeo unseated Republican Assemblyman John Armato (R-Margate) by 40 votes out of more than 50,000 cast.
That election wasn’t decided until Thanksgiving week.
Armato is serving his first term in the Assembly. Risley is a longtime Atlantic County Freeholder and Guenther served 28 years as the mayor of Brigantine.