Essex County Register Dana Rone will not seek re-election to a second term and will be replaced on the Democratic ticket by former freeholder Juan Rivera.
Rivera becomes the overwhelming favorite to win the seats. Republicans have not won a race for register since 1969.
Rivera is a project director at the North Ward Center and a member of the Essex County Board of Elections.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and as an interim freeholder in 2011.
Rone has decided to pursue an entrepreneurial quest in the area of recreational and medical marijuana. She was elected register in 2014 following the death of Phil Thigpen and served as a Newark Central Ward councilwoman from 2006 to 2008.
She ran for city council on a slate backed by mayoral candidate Cory Booker.
Essex and Hudson are the only two counties that elect a Register of Deeds and Mortgages. Several other counties have eliminated the position and transferred the duties to the county clerk.
In 1979, 79-year-old Hymen B. Mintz, a former assemblyman who served as register from 1970 to 1975, mounted a campaign based on a single issue: if he won, he would immediately eliminate the job. He came within 800 votes of ousting the incumbent, Larrie West Stalks.