The Dover Board of Aldermen have 15 days to pick a replacement for Adrian Ballesteros after the Democratic county committee selected three candidates in a vote held today.
The party used ranked choice voting to recommend, in the following order: former Alderman Edward Correa, former school board member and current Planning Board Chairman Mike Scarneo and Hope Summerset, a social worker for the Morris County Housing Authority, for the Third Ward seat Ballesteros vacated earlier this month when he resigned.
They defeated former Alderman James Visioli, an ally of former Mayor James P. Dodd, and Zoning Board member Victor Rodriguez.
Ballesteros moved to California last year and had been commuting back to Dover for occasional alderman meetings.
Dover Democrats had been sharply divided in 2022 after then-Morris County Democratic Chairman Chip Robinson refused to give the organization line to the local organization-backed candidates, a move that contributed to Robinson being pushed out of the county chairman post. That led to three incumbents, including Correa, losing the Democratic primary.
Mayor Carolyn Blackman has not announced if she plans to seek re-election to a second term. Three other aldermen are up this year: Jessica Cruz in the first ward, Judith Rugg in the second ward, and Arturo Santana in the fourth ward.
Perennial candidate T.C. McCourt had briefly and informally sought the Democratic nomination for mayor, but has now decided he will not run.