Heather Darling is clinging to a narrow lead over Michael Patrick Carroll in her bid for the Republican nomination for Morris County Surrogate in a race that is too close to call.
With all but one district in East Hanover counted, Darling is ahead by 542 votes, 9,630 to 9,088 – a 41%-38% race.
A third candidate, Parsippany Republican Club recording secretary Isabella Alfano, finished a distant third with 4,964 votes.
Carroll gave up the State Assembly seat he held for 24 years to run for Surrogate after four-term incumbent John Pecoraro announced his retirement.
Darling, a freeholder first elected in 2017, was a relatively late entrant into the race.
The total number of provisional ballots cast is not immediately clear, and the number of vote-by-mail ballots will not be determined until close of business on Thursday.
The geography of outstanding ballots is a critical component to declaring a winner.
Carroll beat Darling 45%-34% among VBM ballots and did especially well in the 25th district towns he represents in the legislature.
The winner will face Democrat Michael Thompson, a trusts and estates lawyer from Mendham, in the general election.
The last time a Democrat won a countywide election in Morris was in 1973.