Monmouth County Republicans have recovered from the shock of seeing Democrats leading the ballot counts on Election Day and are getting ready to celebrate.
With 296,966 ballots reported at 5:05 on Friday afternoon, Republican County candidates are showing the dominant leads that the GOP has enjoyed in Monmouth for many years.
Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon leads Democrat Angela Ahbexz-Anderson 164,335 -118,714.
Republican Freeholder candidates Lillian Burry and Ross Licitra have 149,382 and 148,335 votes, respectively, while Democrats Michael Penna and Moira Nelson have 131,692 and 129,895.
Congressman Chris Smith has widened his lead over Democrat Stephanie Schmid to 59.2%-39.2% district wide. In Monmouth, where only about 80% of the vote has been reported, Smith leads Schmidt 55%-43%.
On Wednesday morning, Rik Mehta looked as though he might be the first Republican U.S. Senate candidate to lose Monmouth in generations. As of Friday afternoon, Mehat has taken the Monmouth lead over Senator Cory Booker 143,169-140,536.
Former Vice President Joe Biden was leading President Donald J. Trump by double digits in Monmouth County on Wednesday morning, which surprised local leaders of both Parties. As of Friday evening, Trump votes have closed the gap to 1.6%.
An estimated 75,000 ballots remain to be counted.