Ann Cannon, a Mercer County Commissioner for the last 27 years, has been forced into a third-ballot runoff in her bid for re-election to 10th term.
On the second ballot, Cannon led Terrance Stokes, a Ewing football official, by a vote of 170-146, 43.7% to 37.5%. Yan Mei Wang finished third with 73 votes and is now dropped from the balloting.
Commissioner Samuel Frisby won a first-ballot victory with 292 votes, followed by Hopewell Township Committeewoman and former mayor Kristin McLaughlin with 225.
Cannon finished third with 185 votes, followed by Stokes (169), Wang (145), and Lawrence Township Committeeman and former mayor Michael Powers.
Powers had been dropped from the second ballot.
Earlier this evening, Mercer Democratic county committee members voted to force two incumbent county commissioners into a six-way race for three seats rather than automatically approve their renomination.
Six candidates had initially sought the open seat of Commissioner Pat Colavita, Jr., who is not seeking re-election after serving 18 years in county office.
Two others — Lance Lopez, the former president of the state Corrections Officers PBA Local 105 and Assistant Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development Tennille McCoy of Hamilton – have withdrawn from the race.
For the 76-year-old Colavita, his retirement ends a career that began with his election to the Lawrence Board of Education in 1984. He served as mayor of Lawrence before winning a freeholder seat in 2003. He took over for Brian Hughes, who was elected County Executive that year.
Gov. Phil Murphy was awarded the organization line in his bid for re-election, as where incumbent legislators in the 14th and 15th districts.