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Roselle Mayor Reginald Atkins.

Roselle Democrats pick Atkins as mayor

Mayor Christine Dansereau resigned for health reasons on July 1

By David Wildstein, July 30 2020 7:12 pm

The Roselle Borough Council has named Rev. Reginald Atkins to succeed Mayor Christine Dansereau, who resigned for health reasons on July 1.

Roselle Democrats also submitted Donald Shaw and Cynthia Atkins for consideration.

The council met tonight to interview candidates.

Atkins, the municipal chairman and a former councilman, is a political rival of Dansereau.

Since Dansereau’s resignation, Council President Denise Wilkerson had served as acting mayor.

Dansereau allies control the council, which could reject all choices submitted by the party.  That would send the appointment back to the local party.

Earlier this year, the council picked Isabel Sousa for an open council seat even though she was not one of the names submitted by the Democratic county committee.

A Superior Court judge later ruled that Atkins had missed the deadline to submit names because he did not have a quorum at the meeting.

Shaw, the Roselle Recreation Director, challenged Dansereau in the 2019 Democratic primary.  Dansereau defeated Shaw by 219 votes, 42%-34%.  A third candidate, Archange Antoine, who ran with the backing of Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, won 24%.

The resignation triggered a special election in November to fill the remaining 38 months of Dansereau’s term.

The Roselle Democratic county committee will pick the nominee, but there will be an opportunity for independent candidates to file.

Dansereau became the mayor of Roselle in 2015 after Jamel C. Holley resigned to take his seat in the State Assembly.  She the first woman to serve as mayor in borough history.

This story was updated at 8:32 PM.

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