LD 38 Brief: Dems confident in Assembly race, but ‘assume recount’

TRENTON – State Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) expressed confidence on Thursday that the yet-to-decided LD 38 Assembly race will break the Democrats’ way, but still expects that a recount will take place. 

Election Day voting essentially produced a statistical tie among the four Assembly candidates in the Bergen-based district. Recently updated vote totals indicate that Democrat Joseph Lagana is in the lead, with Republican Joseph Scarpa in second place. Only 59 votes separate Scarpa from Democratic incumbent Assemblyman Tim Eustace. 

“We believe that where the provisional [ballots] are and the machines that have problems are in locations that will trend very well for Tim and for the Democratic Party,” Greenwald said. “There is a difference in that district right now of 59 votes – I would say whichever way those provisionals go, I would assume that the Republican or the Democratic Party would ask for a recount. That’s how close that race is.” 

Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin confirmed the 59-vote differential between Scarpa and Eustace, but disagreed with Greenwald’s prognostication about the final LD 38 result. 

“[Greenwald] is blowing smoke,” Yudin said. “There are around 460 provisional ballots in the Bergen County section of District 38, and there are around 39 provisional ballots in Hawthorne [the sole Passaic County municipality in the district]. The ballots in Bergen County are spread throughout every municipality, whether they are Republican or Democrat. They are evenly split. No one really knows.”

All provisional ballots will be tallied by Bergen County election officials on Tuesday.

“As Bergen Republican chairman, I would assume that after the final count, and Scarpa is no longer a winner but is a loser by a few votes, I would assume there would be a recount,” Yudin said. 

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