Democrat Andrea Katz defeated Assemblyman Brandon Umba (R-Burlington) in the eighth legislative district in a race that had been too close to call for the past week. (Dana DiFilippo | New Jersey Monitor)
Democrat Andrea Katz defeated Assemblyman Brandon Umba (R-Burlington) in the eighth legislative district in a race that had been too close to call for the past week.
Katz, the Chesterfield Democratic chairwoman, appeared to have lost her bid on election night, but late arriving mail-in ballots and provisional ballots that were unexpectedly favorable to the Democrat saw her emerge with an extremely narrow 27-vote lead last week.
That lead expanded Wednesday after Atlantic County issued an updated tally that, combined with her lead in Burlington County, put the Democrat 238 votes ahead of Umba, a first-term Assemblyman.
Assemblyman Michael Torrissi (R-Burlington) finished first in the contest with 27,850 votes. Katz placed second with 27,588. Umba received 27,350 votes, putting him behind Katz’s running mate Anthony Angelozzi, who finished third with 27,479.
It’s unclear whether Umba will seek a recount or challenge the election results. He has until Nov. 25 to seek a recount.
Katz’s victory brings Democrats’ Assembly gains to six seats. They reclaimed two seats in the 11th and third districts and flipped a single seat in the deeply Republican 30th district. The party’s Senate majority remained static at 25 after they reclaimed a seat in the third district and lost another in the 12th.
Her win also ensured a bit more female representation in a legislature that’s not very diverse.
The final margin in the eighth district race may shift slightly over the coming days. Voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected for signature reasons have until Nov. 18 to return cure letters and have their votes counted.
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