Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland defeated 25-year-old challenger Jin Han Kim by 20 votes in the Democratic primary after provisional and 48-hour vote-by-mail ballots were counted, according to the Bergen County Clerk’s office.
The final results have McPartland winning 376 to 356, a narrow 51%-49% victory.
McPartland has no Republican opposition in the general election.
After the machine votes were counted last week, McPartland led Jim by just 13 votes, 339 to 226.
The race was unexpectedly close.
Some insiders viewed McPartland’s near defeat on his ties to real estate developer Fred Daibes, who is currently battling a federal indictment on charges that he circumvented lending limits at a bank he ran to secure millions of dollars in loans.
Both mayoral candidates told the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission that they would not spend more than $5,100 on their campaigns.
Councilman Vincent Monte and running mate Donald Martin were unopposed in the Democratic primary. They also have no general election opponents.
Kim, policy consultant at BIT North America, was born in Korea and emigrated to the United States at age 12.
Edgewater is 35.5% Asian, according to the 2010 U.S. Census and is estimated to have a Korean population of 19%.