LONGPORT – Updated mail-in vote counts for the Longport Board of Commissioners election has not changed the results of the contest at this time. Although the We Love Longport incumbent team has maintained its lead over the Leadership For a Change slate, it is only by a slim margin.
The numbers posted show a seven vote difference between James P. Leeds and challenger James Ulmer, however the totals are still unofficial as 29 provisional ballots will be counted later this week.
According to the Atlantic County Clerk, the unofficial vote count is:
- Dan Lawler 287
- Nicholas Russo 282
- James P. Leeds 272
- James Ulmer 265
- Fran Caulfield 252
- Robert English 236
- Scott C. Cianci 90
- Veronica Iezzi 26
“I’m optimistic that when all the ballots are counted, Jim Ulmer will be a commissioner,” Leadership for a Change candidate Bob English said in a statement.
“We are encouraged by the interim results, which show the majority of Longport voters want a change.” challenger Fran Caulfield said.
Top vote getter Dan Lawler remained cautiously optimistic that all three members of the We Love Longport slate would retain their seats on the board.
“The challengers did an impressive job campaigning and were aggressive in knocking on doors for weeks,” he said. “It looks good for Nick and me. Hopefully, Jim will make it too.”
However, he was not impressed by some of the “fake news” regarding the work of the incumbents, he said.
“They made the Longport election political, which it has not been for a long time,” Lawler said.
“Regardless of the outcome, I can confidently say this has been an amazing journey for the three of us,” Jim Ulmer said. “We are very grateful to those friends, neighbors and Longport residents who encouraged, supported and voted for us in this election.”
According to Mayor Nicholas Russo, Atlantic County Clerk Edward McGettigan confirmed Monday morning there are 29 outstanding provisional ballots that will be counted on Thursday, Nov. 12.
“It’s not over, till it’s over,” Russo said.
The commission agreed to move the non-partisan election from May to November for two reasons – cost savings and greater voter participation, Russo said.
“No one realized at the time that due to a pandemic, we would move to mail-in ballots, which also generated additional participation. That reflects in a small town like Longport.”