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Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) wound up winning re-election to a fourth term by 2,255 votes despite trailing slightly on Election Day, according to a final but still unofficial count released by the Atlantic County Clerk today.
The other 2nd district incumbent, John Armato (D-Buena Vista), won his second term by 939 votes – the closest legislative race in the state this year.
With all provisional and vote-by-mail ballots included, Mazzeo received 23,140 votes, followed by Armato with 21,825. They defeated Republicans Phil Guenther (20,886), who spent 26 years as the mayor of Brigantine, and Atlantic County Freeholder John Risley (20,885).
After the Election Day count, Guenther and Risley led by a narrow margin.
Gunther was at 17,952, followed by Risley (17,906), Mazzeo (17,137) and Armato (16,101).
New Jersey’s new VBM law substantially increased voter turnout in the 2nd district.
Mazzeo received 4,861 more votes than he did in 2015, when he was re-elected to a second term by 1,372 votes against Republican Will Pauls.
In that race, Republican Chris Brown (R-Ventnor), who won a State Senate seat two years ago, received 18,959 votes, followed by Mazzeo (18,279), Democrat Colin Bell (17,433) and Pauls (16,907).
In 2013, Mazzeo unseated GOP Assemblyman John Amodeo by 40 votes.