BELMAR — Council President Thomas Brennan, the lone Democrat on the borough council,  held a solid lead over his two challengers in the unofficial and incomplete tally as of Thursday evening.

As of 5:08 p.m. Friday, Mr. Brennan, who was first elected to serve on the borough council in 2015, had 1,269 votes, to 878 for Republican challenger Jodi Kinney and 424 for independent candidate Gerald Buccafusco.

If Council President Brennan does win, the outcome would maintain the status quo on the borough council, which also includes four Republicans, including the borough’s mayor, Mark Walsifer. 

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Mr. Buccafusco said on Wednesday morning that he believes this election cycle was a particularly difficult one for independent candidates, as national politics drowned out what is happening locally. 

“I think from the start I knew it was going to be an uphill battle,” he said. “Not only was I running against my opponent, but I think the reality is I was running against Donald Trump and Joe Biden because of people that just vote the party line.

“I was aware that that might happen, but I thought that people might be a little more into the local election and split the ticket a little bit,” he said, adding that as vote counting continues throughout the week, he expects margins to narrow. 

Ms. Kinney could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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