Mail in ballots keep election watchers on their toes: updated 2021 general election results here

MercerMe reported the initial results of the 2021 general election here, but many more people vote by mail now than ever have before, making for a seesaw of election results in the week following the election across New Jersey. A red wave that initially seemed to cover Mercer County, was ultimately overcome by a blue wave of mail-in ballots. But in other parts of the state, Democrats were not as successful.

In the first few hours after the polls closed on November 2, it looked like Hopewell Township’s perennial Republican candidate, Edward “Jack” Jackowski, might finally have a shot at gaining a seat on the Township Committee. However, it was not to be as the Democrat’s candidate, political newcomer Uma Purandare, overtook and won the race with 59.1% of the vote.

A similar, but much closer race was seen in Hamilton, where it seemed certain early on that the Republicans would win an upset in the Township’s Council race, but mail-in ballots helped the Democrats squeak by with a margin of about 2%.

Across New Jersey, in the State Senate, incumbents mostly kept their seats with the unexpected exception of the overthrow of State Senate President Steve Sweeney from District 3 in south Jersey, who was beaten by a Raymour and Flanigan delivery truck driver named Ed Durr, who reportedly spent less than $3,000 on his race to Sweeney’s $300,000.

The State Assembly results also lessened the Democratic majority slightly. According to Ballotpedia, there previously were 46 Democrat members of the State Assembly; after the election, there are now 44. Sweeney’s District 3 also fired their Democratic Assembly members, replacing them with two candidates who, like Durr, spent very little on their campaign.

Supporters of Governor Murphy had several tense hours as the initial results came in trending towards his opponent, Republican Jack Ciattarelli, but, as of November 11, the count was 1,305,152 (51.1%) for Governor Murphy to 1,231,204 (48.2%) for Ciatarelli. Ciatarelli finally conceded the race Friday (November 14) afternoon.

In the non-partisan HVRSD Board of Education race, Jacqueline Genovesi took the lead early in the three-way race for two seats. According to the Mercer County Board of Elections as of November 11, Genovesi had won with 3,452 votes (36.41%), incumbent Deborah Linthorst took the second seat with 3,125 votes (32.96%), while Kimberly Stolow received 2,905 votes (30.64%).

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