Home>Highlight>Gilmore resignation gives Dems a 2-1 majority on Ocean County Board of Elections

Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp

Gilmore resignation gives Dems a 2-1 majority on Ocean County Board of Elections

GOP likely to move quickly to fill vacancy in advance of June primary

By David Wildstein, April 23 2019 12:05 pm

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.

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3 thoughts on “Gilmore resignation gives Dems a 2-1 majority on Ocean County Board of Elections

  1. 19:6-18 Nomination for member of county board; certification, appointment, term.

    19:6-18. During the 30-day period immediately preceding February 15 in each year, the chairman and vice-chairlady of each county committee and the State committeeman and State committeewoman of each of such two political parties, respectively shall meet and jointly, in writing, nominate one person residing in the county of such county committee chairman, duly qualified, for member of the county board in and for such county.

    If more than two members are elected to the State committee of any party from a county, the State committeeman and State committeewoman who shall participate in the process of nomination shall be those holding full votes who received the greatest number of votes in their respective elections for members of the State committee.

    If nomination be so made, the said county committee chairman shall certify the nomination so made to the State chairman and to the Governor, and the Governor shall commission such appointees, who shall be members of opposite parties, on or before March 1. If nomination be not so made on account of a tie vote in the said meeting of the county committee chairman, county committee vice-chairlady, State committeeman and State committeewoman, in respect to such nomination, the said county committee chairman shall certify the fact of such a tie vote to the State chairman, who shall have the deciding vote and who shall certify, in writing, to the Governor, the nomination made by his deciding vote. Appointees to county boards of election pursuant to this section shall continue in office for 2 years from March 1 next after their appointment.

    The first appointment having been made pursuant to law for terms of 1 and 2 years, respectively, the members subsequently appointed each year shall fill the offices of the appointees whose terms expire in that year.

    amended 1955, c.243, s.1; 1968, c.84; 1978, c.15, s.2; 2005, c.136, s.8; 2007, c.61, s.4; 2011, c.134, s.8.

  2. It is more than tradition. By law the Secretary and Chairman/President must be of opposite parties.

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