ELECTION: Kinney holds edge in tight Belmar council race

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BELMAR —  Less than 30 votes separated Republican borough council candidate Jodi Kinney from Democrat Gerald Buccafusco on Tuesday night, according to unofficial results from the county.

The two candidates are competing for the lone council seat on the Belmar ballot, which carries a three-year term.  The seat is currently held by Council President Pat Wann, who announced earlier this year that she would not seek a second term.

Early results appeared to favor Republicans, who held their election night victory party at Flames on Main Street, as the party’s candidate appeared to be leading by a vote of 1,161 to 1,134.

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“I am grateful to all my supporters and I am grateful to the mayor and council for supporting me,” Ms. Kinney, “I am hoping within the next 24 hours we will get some more clarity on the votes.”

James McCracken, the chair of the borough’s municipal Republican Party, said it was too early for his side to claim victory.

Democrats are still eyeing a possible second seat on the Republican-controlled borough council. Mr. Buccafusco said that some votes still need to be counted and “anything could happen.”

“I don’t think it bodes well for the residents of Belmar, really,” he said on Tuesday night was Democrats watched results come in at their victory headquarters at D’Jais Bar and Grille on Ocean Avenue.

When asked if the party would consider asking the Monmouth County Board of Elections for a recount should the margin stay the same, both Mr. Buccafusco and municipal chair of the Democratic Party Maria Rondinaro said that was an option.

“I feel we put everything out on the field, we’ve been campaigning for quite a long time and hopefully we have reached the people of Belmar,” Ms. Rondinaro said.

For more on this story, read the next edition of The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.

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