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Former Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer. (Photo: Dr. Sadaf Jaffer.)

Just 218 votes separate Jaffer, Panico in Assembly race

Freiman building increasingly solid lead in bid for third term in 16th district

By David Wildstein, November 04 2021 9:35 am

The race for State Assembly in the 16th district remains too close to call, although Democratic incumbent Roy Freiman (D-Hillsborough) has amassed a clear lead for one of the seats.

Freiman’s running mate, former Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer, now has a 218-vote lead over Republican Vinny Panico, the president of the Hunterdon Central Regional Board of Education.

A second Republican, Manville Councilman Joseph Lukac, trails Panico by 644 and Freiman by 2,518.

Jaffer leads Panico by 3,899 votes in Princeton and 2,659 in South Brunswick. Panico is 4,777 votes ahead of Jaffer in Hunterdon County and 1,563 in front in Somerset.

The three candidates are vying for the open Assembly seat of Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick), who is running for the State Senate.

Zwicker, who proclaimed victory on Wednesday, is 2,820 votes in front of Republican Michael Pappas, a former congressman.

A Zwicker win would represent a Democratic flip of a Senate seat the Republicans have held since 1905.

In 2015, Zwicker unseated Assemblywoman Donna Simon (R-Readington) by 78 votes.

The three Republicans had led on election night.

The New Jersey Globe has not called these three races.

Final 16th district results:

Zwicker 53.3% // Pappas 46.7%

Freiman 26.7%, Jaffer 25.7% // Panico 24.0%, Lukac 23.6%

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