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June 04, 2024

Joseph Salerno narrowly leads Tim Alexander in Democratic primary for N.J.'s 2nd U.S. House district

With 93% of votes counted by early Wednesday morning, 401 votes separated the two leaders. The winner will run against Rep. Jeff Van Drew in November.

2024 Election U.S. House
NJ 2nd District Michael Candelori/for PhillyVoice

In New Jersey's 2nd District of the U.S. House, the Democratic primary remained too close to call early Wednesday with Joseph Salerno leading Tim Alexander by less than 2%. The winner will run against Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the incumbent Republican, in the November general election.

Joseph Salerno leads Tim Alexander in the Democratic primary for New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District by less than 2% with 93% of votes counted. No winners has projected and neither candidate has conceded the race.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. and the results below were the latest available early Wednesday morning. All results are unofficial until certified by election officials. The latest vote totals reported by the Associated Press show Salerno and Alexander separated by 401 votes.

The 2nd District covers all of Atlantic, Cape May, Salem and Cumberland counties, as as well as parts of Gloucester and Ocean counties. Van Drew was elected as a Democrat in 2018, but switched parties when he broke with Democrats over their impeachment inquiry into former President Donald Trump in 2019. He since has been reelected twice as a Republican.

Four Democrats were on Tuesday's primary ballot. Incumbent Jeff Van Drew ran unopposed in the Republican primary and he is seeking his fourth term in office.

For Salerno, a lawyer, this is his first run for public office. He has campaigned on making Social Security and Medicare sustainable, protecting abortion rights and promoting bipartisan solutions in Washington.

Tim Alexander is a civil rights attorney who previously worked for more than 20 years in various roles at the Atlantic City Prosecutor's Office. Alexander won the Democratic nomination in 2022 and was defeated by Van Drew later that year. He has vowed to address affordability issues from housing to health care. He also supports abortion rights and argues the federal government should play a protective role in ensuring reproductive care for women.

RELATED: Coverage of the Democratic and Republican primaries for U.S. Senate in New Jersey | Republican primary results for N.J.'s 1st District U.S. House seatPrimary results for Democrats, Republicans in N.J.'s 3rd District U.S. House race 

New Jersey election law does not have an automatic recount provision for close elections like some other states do. For a recount to take place, a candidate or voter can request one be done no later than three days after the results of the election have been certified. The request is made to a Superior Court judge in a county represented by the district in which the candidates are running. 

The other two candidates trailing Salerno and Alexander are Carolyn Rush and Rodney A. Dean Sr. Rush is a retired software engineer from Sea Isle City who worked in the transportation and defense industries. Rodney A. Dean Sr. is a community activist from Woodbury and his campaign focused on directing more federal grant money to important community projects in the district.