Democratic incumbent Andy Kim will be re-elected to a second term in Congress, representing a district that has been red for much of the last decade.
According to results as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Kim leads his Republican challenger David Richter by more than 10 percentage points. The Associated Press called the race in favor of Kim after midnight Wednesday.
When broken down by county, the results were split. Kim took the vote in Burlington County, while Richter claimed Ocean County.
Independent candidate Martin Weber obtained one percent of the vote.
Neither candidate has issued a statement, and county election boards are expected to resume counting the ballots Wednesday morning.
Kim flipped the third congressional district — spanning Burlington and Ocean counties — as part of a blue wave in the 2018 election.
Richter, who originally planned to run in the 1st Congressional District, thought Kim was beatable and wanted to flip a congressional seat red. Republicans also saw an opportunity, believing the seat would be their best bet to send another Garden State Republican to Washington.
The former construction executive focused his campaign on Kim claiming he was too liberal for the district and not the moderate the Democrat said he was. Kim focused his campaign on health care. He claimed that Richter didn’t take the issue seriously and that it was not just a matter of “tweaking” the existing system.
But after a while, Republicans no longer saw the seat as winnable. NJ Advance Media reported that both the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC decided to focus their resources on taking a North Jersey congressional district. The Democratic Congressional Campaign committee meanwhile put out several negative ads about Richter in the race.
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