Bridget Anne Kelly — the ex-aide to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who was embroiled in the “Bridgegate” scandal — is trailing in her political comeback bid to become the Bergen County clerk.
Kelly, a Republican, is running behind Democratic incumbent John Hogan by nearly 25,000 votes.
The disgraced GOPer led in the machine count with 102,129 votes to Hogan’s 99,392 on Tuesday night, but as mail-in ballots poured in, the Democratic incumbent has taken over for now, ahead of his challenger 136,388 to 111,467.
The Bergen County Clerk’s Office is the keeper of records, including property and business-ownership filings, and also handles such things as passport applications and citizenship records while also helping to oversee elections.
Kelly was a top Christie aide in 2013 when she wrote the infamous e-mail saying, “Time for some Traffic Problems in Fort Lee” as part of a scheme to exact political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing her boss’s re-election bid. The move diverted traffic from the George Washington Bridge entrance into Fort Lee to wreak local havoc on commuters.
Kelly, 48, was convicted of hatching the traffic-jam plan, which caused major backups in the borough for four days, as were Christie’s Port Authority executives Bill Baroni and David Wildstein.
But the US Supreme Court last year overturned the federal convictions against Kelly and Baroni. Kelly had been sentenced to 13 months.
Still, while the court unanimously concluded that Kelly and her cohorts’ actions didn’t amount to crimes because they had not sought money and therefore didn’t violate federal wire fraud laws, they had clearly abused their power.
“The evidence the jury heard no doubt shows wrongdoing—deception, corruption, abuse of power,” Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the decision.
Kelly, in a tweeted statement late Tuesday, said she felt heartened and vindicated that so many Bergen County residents voted for her.
“Five years ago this week, 12 people said one thing,” Kelly wrote in an apparent reference to the jury who convicted her. “We won’t know the results tonight but win or lose, more than 100k voters are saying something else.”
The Bergen County GOP encouraged Kelly to run for the post.
Kelly, who has four kids and resides in Ramsey, NJ, has been a behind-the-scenes operative in state government for decades but never ran for public office before.
“I should be allowed to rebuild my life.” she told The Post in January as she launched her run for office — and redemption.
Kelly had long maintained she became a convenient political scapegoat for the “Bridgegate” scandal.
The saga crippled Christie’s own bid for the White House in 2016.
Christie claimed he had nothing to do with the scheme.
Kelly has admitted she was not blameless and regretted sending the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email.
“The e-mail was quick-witted, poorly worded. Obviously, I regret it,” she has said.