Home>Highlight>Five Superior Court nominees, incumbent Cape May surrogate among them, clear judiciary committee

Cape May County Surrogate Dean Marcolongo. (Photo: Cape May Surrogate's Office).

Five Superior Court nominees, incumbent Cape May surrogate among them, clear judiciary committee

Dean Marcolongo won re-election to five-year term just last month

By Joey Fox, December 19 2022 11:40 am

UPDATE: The full Senate passed every nominee unanimously at its full voting session in the afternoon, just a few hours after the nominees went through committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved five nominees for Superior Court judgeships this morning, among them incumbent Cape May County Surrogate Dean Marcolongo, a Republican who was re-elected unopposed for another five-year term this November.

Marcolongo and the other four nominees – Laurence Bravman, Christopher Edwards, Daniel Kurkowski, and Laurie Poppe – all passed the committee unanimously. All five will come before the full Senate later today, where they’ll almost certainly be confirmed.

Marcolongo, who has served as county surrogate since 2018, said that he first “put out [his] feelers” for a judicial role in March, but he ran for re-election anyways because he wasn’t positive the judgeship would go through.

“You never know what’s going to happen on either end,” Marcolongo said. “I never was assured that I’d get through the judicial process. I’m thrilled in my job as the surrogate, I love it, and if this judgeship did not come through, I would have remained as surrogate and been a happy and blessed man.”

Marcolongo’s departure will mean that Cape May County will hold a special election concurrent with the regularly scheduled 2023 elections; since surrogate terms reset whenever an incumbent officeholder leaves, the election will be for a new five-year term.

Three of the other judicial nominees also have a prominent history in state politics and policy: Poppe nearly defeated State Sen. Kip Bateman (R-Branchburg) in 2017, Edwards previously served as executive assistant attorney general, and Kurkowski became the chairman of the Cape May County Democrats at the beginning of this year.

Separately from the judiciary, Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano was approved to a new term on the Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield Board of Directors, while three nominees were approved for seats on the New Jersey Transit Corporation, among them Kiabi Carson – notable given that her employer, Turner & Townsend, has a number of contracts with the state.

“I would certainly have to recuse myself from any decision that relates to my employer,” Carson told the New Jersey Globe after the committee vote.

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