John McCann has taken a six-vote lead in the Republican primary for the Oakland Borough Council, but the race for the second seat between incumbent Kevin Slasinski and insurgent Carol Ann Rose is tied.
McCann leads with 336 votes, with Slasinski and Rose each at 330. Rose’s running mate, Kerri Sirinides, is in fourth place with 316 votes. Rose had led on election night with 293 votes, followed by McCann (292), Slasinski (288) and Sirinides (285)).
The primary came two weeks after McCann was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the council. He had already secured the organization line to run with Slasinski.
The Oakland contest rekindled a fight between McCann and Frank Pallotta that began when the two ran against each other in the 2020 GOP congressional primary in New Jersey’s 5th district.
Pallotta endorsed Rose and Sirinides, who mounted off-the-line runs for the two Oakland council seats.
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.