WEST ORANGE, NJ — A tightly contested race for the two open seats on the West Orange Board of Education resulted in a near three-way tie with a race too close to call.

With 95 percent of districts reporting, less than 100 votes separated all three candidates, according to the unofficial election results provided by the Essex County Clerk’s Office.

Cheryl Merklinger had a scant lead over fellow candidates Jeremias Salinas and Terry Trigg-Scales. At 10:45 p.m. the clerk’s office reported Merklinger has 6,373 votes, compared to Salinas’ 6,322 votes and Trigg-Scales 6,264.

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The Board of Education has been under much public scrutiny lately, including the sudden resignation of former superintendent Jeffrey Rutzky last month.

Check back on Wednesday for information about this important race.