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*-- Hillary Clinton wins New Jersey primary --*

NEW YORK - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton won the New Jersey presidential primary, the first of the final six states voting on what is the last major group of elections in the race between her and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

New Jersey is the second-largest state up for grabs Tuesday, one of the final six states to vote and a Garden State win for Clinton was widely expected after polls showed her with a large lead over Sanders.

Sanders is expected to compete well in several other states, including North and South Dakota and in New Mexico. The largest state in the country, California, also votes Tuesday and the two candidates have been running neck-and-neck there. Polls in California close at 8 p.m. Pacific time, or 11 p.m. in the East.

Both Clinton and Sanders are expected to speak at some point during the election night. After both candidates barnstormed California over the last week, Clinton returned to her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn for a rally at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Sanders is scheduled to speak in Southern California after polls close.

Clinton's win comes after multiple media outlets have predicted she has earned enough delegates to lock up the Democratic nomination. Because some of those delegates are superdelegates who are free to switch their affiliation from Clinton to Sanders, UPI is not declaring her the party's presumptive nominee as Sanders continues to campaign leading up to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Either way, she reaches the near end of the primary process poised to become the first woman in American history to win a major political party's presidential nomination.

The lone remaining electoral contest is the District of Columbia primary on June 14.


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