Lisa Richford was re-elected Mercer County Republican Chair tonight, easily defeating Lawrence Republican Club President Falk Engel by a vote of 86 to 42, a 67%-33% margin.
The reorganization meeting was held outdoors at the Hamilton VFW.
Engel had recently entered the race against Richford, who survived a recall attempt in September 2019 after organizers fell short of the two-thirds majority they needed to remove her from office.
Richford now faces a general election in one of New Jersey’s bluest counties.
Mercer County Republicans haven’t won a countywide race since County Clerk Cathy DiCostanzo was re-elected in 2000 (although Chris Christie carried Mercer in 2013) and have become nearly extinct at the local level.
With the loss of Yaede and the Republican councilmembers and the defeat of Hopewell Township Committeeman John Hart by Democrat Courtney Peters-Manning in 2019, it has left Hightstown Councilman Lee Stults the only Republican elected in a partisan race in the entirety of Mercer County.
Stults is not seeking re-election this year and his replacement, James Eufemia, lost his bid for a council seat by a 2-1 margin last year.
Recently re-elected Mercer County Democratic Chair Janice Mironov has pledged to take the last Hightstown seat from the GOP this year.
Republicans did not run any candidates for freeholder in 2019 and have none this year.
Anthony Conti was elected 1st vice chair and Sherry Sinatra-Henderson was elected 2nd vice chair.