HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — The outcome in the Nov. 7 election for the one seat on the Hamilton Township Committee remains in doubt. On election night, incumbent Mayor John Kurtz, a Republican, led Democratic challenger Dwight Melton by 40 votes, 2,874 to 2,834. However, the gap narrowed to 13 votes after the opening of absentee ballots.

A few dozen provisional ballots remain to be counted. They are scheduled to be opened 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13.

Republicans currently hold a 3-2 margin on the governing body. If Melton captures the seat after the final tallies, the Democrats would assume control of the committee by the same margin.

Both candidates remained optimistic days before the final votes are tallied.

“I am happy with the campaign we ran, and I thanked all my volunteers for their help,” Kurtz said.

“We kept it clean and stressed the facts. Both sides shook hands at the beginning, pledging to run a clean campaign. We kept our end of the bargain.”

Kurtz said that a mailer sent out by the local Democrats was a personal attack on his reputation.

Melton said he disapproved of the flier.

“We’re both good guys, as the election proved,” Melton said. “I fought against my own campaign staff about that flier, but it was sent out over my objection. My conscience is clear, and that piece is against what I stand for.”

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines from Atlantic County delivered to your inbox.