Republicans are expected to move quickly to fill George Gilmore’s seat on the Ocean County Board of Elections so that a replacement is in place before the June 4 primary election.
Gilmore’s resignation gives Democrats a 2-1 majority on the board, which counts vote-by-mail and provisional ballots and decides challenges to certain voters, just before a three-way GOP primary for Toms River mayor.
The appointment is made by the Republican county chairman, which at least for now, is Gilmore. It’s possible – though highly unlikely – that Gilmore could make the appointment before he resigns. He is expected to do that today.
Once Gilmore leaves the county chairmanship, vice chair Barbara Lanuto, a staunch Gilmore ally, will become acting chair. Party by-laws require a special election to be held within 60 days.
Lanuto could appoint the new Board of Elections member, which would then need sign off from Republican state chairman Douglas Steinhardt. If the state party okays the pick, it would then go to Gov. Phil Murphy to make the appointment.
The departure of Gilmore also creates a vacancy in the Board of Elections chairmanship.
Ocean County Democratic chairman Wyatt Earp is currently the board secretary – by tradition, that job is held by the commissioner of the opposite party of the chair. It is not immediately known if Earp wants to replace Gilmore as chairman.
The other two seats are held by Rabbi Israel Schenkolewski, a Republican, and Matthew Sage, a Democrat.