MENDHAM, N.J. — A New Jersey college professor lost his bid for U.S. Congress on Tuesday — only to learn a successful write-in campaign chose him as the Democratic nominee for mayor of the town where former Republican Gov. Chris Christie lives.

Mark Washburne says it was a nice surprise after he came up short in his congressional campaign, and adds that he's willing to accept the nomination. NJ.com reports Mendham's municipal attorney is currently researching election law to see if Washburne is eligible for the November ballot — noting that there's no precedent of something like this.

Washburne would face Republican Mendham Councilwoman Christine Serrano Glassner if certified, as current Mayor Neil Henry is not running for re-election.

Officials will make a recommendation on Washburne's candidacy to the county clerk Friday.