If Linden Mayor Derek Armstead is convicted of assault charges, the city could see election for mayor in November to fill his unexpired term.
The process of filling the vacancy is the same as the one used a few times a year, every year, throughout the state.
Upon Armstead’s resignation of removal — if it comes to that — council president Michele Yamakaitis would become the acting mayor.
The Linden Democratic County Committee would submit the names of three candidates for interim mayor to the city council, who must pick one of the three. If they don’t, the local Democratic Party would vote to select one of the three names.
If Armstead departs before April, there would be a special primary election in June to nominate Democratic and Republican candidates for the general election. If he leaves after that, the local party organizations would pick the nominees.
The interim mayor would serve until the results of a general election are certified.
The winner of the special election would then fill the remaining 38 months of Armstead’s term.
State Sen. Nicholas Scutari is the Linden Democratic municipal chairman and controls a majority of county committee votes. (In a special election for county chairman last winter, Scutari won 50 of 70 votes in Linden.)
The prospect of a special election for mayor could create a citywide contest for county committee seats – something that may happen even without Armstead’s legal woes.