District 3 race set between Richter, Kim; Mehta faces Booker

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two two high-profile races that remained uncalled days after the primary now have winners.

In the GOP Senate primary, Rik Mehta, a business executive with a law degree and a doctorate in pharmacy, emerged victorious over Hirsh Singh, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2017; Patricia Flanagan, of Lawrenceville; Natalie Lynn Rivera, of Merchantville; and Eugene Anagnos, of East Hanover.

Mehta will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Cory Booker in November.

In the 3rd Congressional district, former Hill International CEO David Richter defeated former Burlington County freeholder Kate Gibbs.

That district includes Burlington and Ocean counties and is currently represented by freshman Democrat Andy Kim, who defeated Republican Tom MacArthur in 2018.

Richter had been running as a Republican in the 2nd District until Jeff Van Drew’s party switch. He then entered the 3rd District race.

Incumbents typically hold a strong advantage over challengers, and it proved true in this year’s unique voting format.

Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer, of the 5th District, and Bill Pascrell, of the 9th, were declared the winners Thursday by the AP in their northern New Jersey contests.

The GOP contest in the 5th District was also called Thursday. Frank Pallotta, of Mahwah, emerged victorious in the four-way contest there.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who wasn't on the ballot this year, mandated the election take place primarily by mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

County officials have until July 14 to count votes that were postmarked by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Besides Gottheimer and Pascrell the other victorious incumbents are: Republicans Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew, along with Democrats: Bonnie Watson Coleman, Frank Pallone, Donald Payne Jr and Albio Sires.