NJ Politics Digest: One Congressional Race Is Still Too Close to Call

The new vote-by-mail law allows ballots postmarked by Nov. 6 and received by Thursday to be counted. Still, Andy Kim has claimed victory.

Rep. Tom MacArthur
Rep. Tom MacArthur Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Election day is over, but the political drama in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District could go on for weeks, or even months as mail-in and provisional ballots are counted in the neck-and-neck race between incumbent Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur and Democratic challenger Andy Kim.

MacArthur held a narrow lead on election night, but Kim reversed that lead when mail-in ballots began to be counted Wednesday. He currently has a lead of about 2,600 votes, 148,580 to 145,958.

According to reports, election officials in Democratic-leaning Burlington County say they still have a large number of provisional ballots to count, while officials in Republican stronghold Ocean County said they can’t give an exact number of ballots that must be tallied.

Eligible ballots are likely to continue arriving. The state’s new vote-by-mail law allows ballots that are received by Thursday to be counted, as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 6.

Kim, however, claims that the numbers don’t add up for MacArthur, and claimed victory Wednesday night, InsiderNJ reports.

The race was one of the hottest in the state, with polls showing MacArthur and Kim in a virtual dead heat leading up to election day.

The district is normally a reliable win for Republicans, but Kim mobilized support after MacArthur was the only member of the state’s congressional delegation to vote for the Republican tax plan that reduced the popular deduction for state and local taxes. MacArthur also wrote an amendment that put new life in the Republican congress’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Quote of the Day: “I think he could have done well, but didn’t work out too good,” — President Donald Trump, indicating Republican Senate candidate Bob Hugin could have beat incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez if he had embraced Trump in campaigning.

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