Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur was ahead by one percentage point at midnight Wednesday, however with results from the Burlington County portion of the district unclear, the race remains too close to call.
MacArthur was expected to address supporters at the Ocean County Republican organization’s gathering in Toms River, having been announced by party chairman George Gilmore to be on stage in “five or ten minutes” at one point, but Gilmore had to head back to the microphone a short time later to announce that the incumbent would not be addressing the crowd.
At midnight, MacArthur was ahead of Democratic challenger Andy Kim by a slim percentage margin of 49.8 percent to Kim’s 48.9 percent. But voting problems across the state – namely, voters disqualified at polling places because they were sent mail-in ballots and had to instead cast provisional ballots – were enough to potentially affect the outcome of the hotly-contested race.
MacArthur, a business leader who has touted his votes on President Donald Trump’s tax plan and an attempt to repeal the locally-unpopular Affordable Care Act, faced off against Kim, a Rhodes scholar who served as a national security expert in the Obama administration. The race has been neck-and-neck for weeks.
“Unfortunately, we do not have all the vote-by-mail tallies from Burlington County, and I was just advised by the Ocean County election board that we have over 2,000 provisional ballots,” Gilmore said. “This is all caused by this new law passed by the legislature which was passed by governor Murphy which has caused a lot of confusion.”
Gilmore said MacArthur could not make a state and “we’ll have to wait until the morning.”