Somerset County Commissioners Shanel Robinson and Sara Sooy, both Democrats, currently trail their Republican opponents, Bridgewater Councilman Michael Kirsh and Watchung school board member Amber Murad.
If Murad wins, she’ll become the first Republican Muslim to hold countywide office in the nation.
Democrats have been ascendant in the county in recent years, winning a 5-0 majority on the county commission in 2020, but this year could provide a significant setback. Both Robinson and Sooy originally arrived in office by defeating Republican incumbents.
The party is simultaneously struggling to hold on in the 16th district, a Somerset County-based legislative district that was thought to be leaning towards Democrats.