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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy will swear in officials in 12 towns in January

Governor will administer oath to Fran Ritter, who will be lone Democrat on the Wayne Township Council

By David Wildstein, December 28 2019 2:32 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy will swear in the girlfriend of one of his 2017 Democratic primary rivals as a councilwoman in Wayne on January 1.

Fran Ritter ousted incumbent Republican councilwoman Aileen Rivera with 57% of the vote and will become the lone Democrat on the Wayne Township Council when she takes office next week.

Ritter shares a home with Bill Brennan, an activist and staunch critic of former Gov. Chris Christie.  Brennan sought the Democratic nomination for governor against Murphy in 2017 but has turned into a strong supporter.

Murphy is also planning to administer the oath of office to Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach, a Democrat who won re-election in a heavily Republican municipality by a landslide 2-1 margin.

On Thursday, the governor will administer oaths of office to Hopewell Township Mayor Kristin McLaughlin and Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin.

Murphy will be in Somerset County on Friday when Democrats take control of the Board of Freeholders for the first time since 1965.  He will swear in Bloomfield Mayor Michael  Venezia that evening.

Fairview Mayor Vincent Bellucci, Jr. will be sworn in by the governor on Saturday.  Fairview is the political base of a key Murphy ally, Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano.

After Bellucci, the governor heads to Dover to administer the oath to the new mayor, Carolyn Blackman.

Murphy will also swear in Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, Madison Mayor Bob Conley and Union County Freeholder Rebecca Williams on Sunday, and Atlantic County Freeholder Ernest Coursey on Monday.  He’ll attend reorganizations in Burlington County, where Democrats will have a 5-0 majority, on January 6, and the Millburn Township Committee reorganization on January 7.

Editor’s note: due to a scheduling change, Murphy will not attend East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov’s swearing in as previously reported.

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