Incumbent Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp declared victory tonight in Union County’s queen city – but the race was not officially over as early as the incumbent would have liked.
As of 9:30 p.m., Mapp was up by 300 votes and onstage making his victory speech.
It was tight, probably the tightest race of the night on the Democratic side, with the challenger posting the most impressive June 8th loss to a party machine-backed candidate.
“It was closer than I thought it was when we last spoke,” Union County Commissioner Rebecca Williams told InsiderNJ.
Too close, according to challenger Richard Wyatt, a local school board member.
The Wyatt for Mayor Campaign told InsiderNJ that the challenger was still waiting for numbers out of key neighborhoods and would not concede.
He did eventually, as the incumbent squeaked out a win:
Palpable energy surged through the event as Wyatt backers assured InsiderNJ they will win on Tuesday, while Mapp’s allies off-the-record acknowledged a tight race that the incumbent can’t lose on the strength of the built-in advantages associated with the party line.
To a person, sources confirmed a contest, some even going so far as to wonder about the incumbent’s ability to withstand the challenge.
“If grassroots electorate comes out strong in fourth ward; and upper income second ward who had a falling out with Adrian, vote [Councilman Sean] McKenna [running for mayor and acting in the capacity of spoiler], I don’t see where he gets the votes,” a source told InsiderNJ. “Suffice it to say it’s gonna be a long night.”