Republicans were leading in three Atlantic County freeholder races in the hours after the polls closed Tuesday, Nov. 6, but they were not ready to claim victory.
“I won’t get myself in a lather,” said Frank Formica, who is seeking his fourth term as Atlantic County freeholder-at-large. County Republicans were gathered at McCullough’s Restaurant in Egg Harbor Township.
According to the machine vote count posted by the Atlantic County Clerk, Formica was leading with 51.71 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger Celeste Fernandez. The vote count was 32,266-30,122, but the numbers did not include all of Atlantic City and Pleasantville, Formica said.
“That’s not good enough,” Formica said. “I’m looking for at least 55 percent. That’s my barometer.”
Fernandez was not available for comment.
District 2 incumbent Maureen Kern of Somers Point, a Republican, was leading over Democrat challenger Maureen Leidy of Ventnor with 58.34 percent of the vote. The vote count was 7,119-5,081.
“We’re not conceding just yet, but we are thanking our supporters,” Leidy said at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City. “There are still a lot of votes to be counted.”
Kern was not available for comment.
Republican James Bertino was leading with 58.23 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger Barbara Butterhof-Rheault. The count was 9,004-6,454.
The vote totals do not include mail-in ballots and provisional ballots. According to a representative of the Atlantic County Elections, state law allows clerks to accept mail-in ballots on Wednesday and Thursday. The final vote tallies won’t be available until Friday.