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Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Perth Amboy)

Lopez: No news from administration on Perth Amboy runoff

By Nikita Biryukov, September 21 2020 3:45 pm

Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Perth Amboy) said she had heard no news of Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan for Perth Amboy’s runoff election, adding that she had heard nothing on the matter from the governor’s administration.

“We understand all that. It’s going to be a very tight schedule, and we understand all that,” she said. “We’re just hoping that, in fact, the ballots come in, they’re all counted and give the two — if there is a runoff — sufficient time to be there on Dec. 8.”

If no mayoral candidate wins a majority of votes on Nov. 3, the race for mayor will go to a Dec. 8 runoff between the top two finishers.

With six candidates — Mayor Wilda Diaz, Councilmen Helmin Caba, Joel Pabon Sr. and Fernando Irizarry, attorney Joe Vas and Trump supporter Justin Maldonado — seeking the mayorship, the race will almost certainly be decided in December.

That presents a problem for election officials, who will spend weeks after Nov. 3 counting thousands upon thousands of mail-in ballots. During the primary, some counts took more than three weeks to complete, and while officials have had more time to prepare for the general election, vote counting will still likely take weeks.

It’s possible the mayoral race’s top-two finishers won’t be known until the last week of November, giving clerks and candidates as little as two weeks to administer a runoff in the city of about 52,000.

“Right now, we’re just sitting back and watching and hoping that the best person gets elected to office,” Lopez said.

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