A majority of Bernards Township voters who cast a ballot in Wednesday's special election for a U.S. Senate to represent New Jersey — 3,585 of them —supported Republican Steven Lonegan in a town where Republicans have local control.
However, Democrat Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, also attracted 2,476 votes in the unofficial vote count released on Wednesday by the Bernards Township Clerk's office.
That translates into just over 40 percent of township votes for Booker, compared with almost 59 percent in favor of Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota in Bergen County who in his campaigning urged House Republicans “not to capitulate to the president’s unreasonable demands."
Poll workers in The Hills said about an hour before polls closed at 8 p.m. that they had a busy day — and voter turnout numbers supported that observation.
Just over 6,100 Bernards Township residents — or 31 percent of registered voters in the town — cast a ballot on an atypical election day held on a Wednesday in October, according to figures from the township clerk's office.
A very small percentage of votes also were cast for the other candidates listed on the ballot through petition. Edward C. Stackhouse, Jr. received 21 votes; Pablo Olivera, 4; Eugene Martin LaVergne, 4; Robert DePasquale, 5; Antonio Nico Sabas, 5 and Stuart David Meissner, 5, according to the township clerk's office.
The election was held to vote in a new New Jersey representative in the U.S. Senate to fulfill the unexpired term, lasting through the end of 2014, to represent Frank Lautenberg, the longtime Democrat U.S. Senator who died in office at age 89 last June.
The results released on Wednesday night do not include provisional votes. Official results will be released by the county clerk's office.