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Judge orders new candidate after votes already cast

North Arlington GOP sought to replace mayor who died on Wednesday

By David Wildstein, October 12 2018 4:37 pm

A Superior Court Judge today ruled that North Arlington Republicans can replace a deceased mayoral candidate on  the November 6 ballot even though voting has already begun.

Mayor Joseph Bianchi, who was seeking re-election to a second term, died on Wednesday.

Judge Robert Wilson ruled in support of a bid by the GOP to remove Bianchi from the ballot and replace him with a new candidate — possibly Councilman Dan Pronti.

Attorneys for the Bergen County Clerk, John Hogan, are preparing to appeal Bianchi’s decision.

While there is precedent for extending the statutory deadlines for replacing candidates in the interest of voter choice, it is unusual for a judge to order a switch after voting has already begun.

Republicans appear to prefer a new candidate to the option re-electing Bianchi posthumously and then facing a special election in 2019.

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