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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, right, with Middlesex County Freeholder Shanti Narra. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Narra to get leadership role in Middlesex

By David Wildstein, April 22 2021 9:50 am

Shanti Narra will become the new deputy director of the Middlesex County Board of Commissioners, becoming the first South Asian American to hold a leadership role in county government.

She is replacing Kenneth Armwood, who died last month at age 46.

The director of the Board of Commissioners is Ronald Rios.  Middlesex is among a group of New Jersey counties that do not rotate leadership positions.

Narra is a former North Brunswick councilwoman who was first elected commissioner – the job was then known as a freeholder – in 2016.  She is an attorney with the legal Aid Society of New York.

Chanelle McCullum was sworn in on Wednesday to fill Armwood’s seat as a county commissioner.  She resigned her Piscataway council seat to take the county post.

County government in Middlesex has become diverse in recent years.

A majority of the seven county commissioners are women, along with all three of the Middlesex constitutional officers: Sheriff Mildred Scott, County Clerk Nancy Pinkin and Surrogate Claribel Cortes.  Of the ten countywide elected officials, three are Hispanic, two are Black, and one is Asian American.

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