Update: Judge James Savio has set a hearing date of April 7, 2020.
A lawsuit challenging a decision by Democratic county chairs in Atlantic and Cape May to postpone county committee elections until next year now has its fourth judge in four days.
The new judge is James P. Savio, a Republican who was appointed to the bench by Gov. Jon Corzine.
Savio was politically adept enough to get appointed municipal prosecutor just two years after finishing law school and became a judge one year after that at age 29.
A virtual hearing is set for 2 PM today.
The case was initially assigned to Judge James Pickering, a former Cape May County Democratic Chairman, and then to Judge Julio Mendez, a former Cumberland County Democratic Chairman.
Mendez had initially set a hearing date for April 16, which may have been too late. County clerks will hold their ballot drawings one week earlier and the ballots go to the printer several days before the hearing.
For a brief time today, the case was in the hands of Judge J. Christopher Gibson before being transferred to Savio.
The New Jersey Working Families Alliance and CD-2 Progressive Democrats filed a brief seeking a judicial order to force Cape May and Atlantic County Democrats to hold county committee elections this year.
Both Democratic organizations have delayed those elections until 2021, a move that essentially extends terms of incumbent committee members.
More than a dozen county political organizations from both parties pushed their county committee elections until next year.