Democrats have picked Ernest Merighi to fill a vacancy on the Buena Borough Council after the Republican-controlled governing body failed to select one of the three names they submitted.
He will take the seat of Gina Andaloro, a Democrat-turned-Republican who resigned on January 13.
The council initially appointed a Republican, Richard Giovinazzi, to replace her, and immediately seated him.
Pointing to a statute that allows the party that won the seat in the last election the chance to fill a vacancy, Democrats filed an objection. Republicans acknowledged the clarity of the law, voided Giovinazzi’s appointment, and he resigned on February 6.
The Buena Democratic county committee submitted three names to the council: Brian Ewan, Mark Dixon, and Ernest Merighi as their candidates. The council picked Dixon, who then declined to serve.
In a letter to the municipal clerk certifying Merighi as the pick for the empty seat, Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Sulieman said he either wants the clerk to immediately swear him in or will have the party’s attorney do it for them.