Former congressional candidate John McCann, who was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Oakland Borough Council on May 26, holds a narrow four-vote lead in the Republican primary for a full-term in a race that is too close to call.
Carol Ann Rose, who mounted an off-the-line bid, is in first place with 293 votes, followed by McCann with 292. McCann’s running mate, incumbent Kevin Slasinski, has 288 votes and Rose’s running mate, Kerri Sirinides, has 285.
Rose and Sirinides were endorsed by Frank Pallotta, who won the Republican primary for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th district on Tuesday. Pallotta defeated McCann in the 2020 Republican primary.
McCann replaced Grant Van Eck, a 37-year-old Republican who resigned last month because he was moving to Bridgewater.
A Cresskill councilman from 2000 to 2006, McCann defeated former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan in the 2018 Republican primary for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th district by a 53%-47% margin, but he lost the general election to freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) by fourteen percentage point.
McCann sought a rematch with Gottheimer in 2020 but lost the GOP primary by 19 points to Pallotta.
Oakland is a reliably Republican municipality that backed Donald Trump for president in 2020 and gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli in 2021. But the three-term mayor, Linda Schwager, is a Democrat.
The winners of the primary will face Democrats Andrea Levy and Jo-Ann Ashkenazie.