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Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau. Photo courtesy of the Roselle Board of Education.,

Roselle mayor will resign for health reasons

Christine Dansereau departure could trigger November special election

By David Wildstein, June 23 2020 9:34 am

Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau is planning to resign for health reasons, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

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.

The vacancy would allow Council President Denise Wilkerson, a Dansereau ally, to become mayor until the local Democratic Party submit three names to the council for consideration.

The Roselle Democratic organization is controlled by a different faction of the local party, and Rev. Reginald Atkins, a Dansereau rival, is the municipal chairman.

Dansereau allies control the council, which could reject all choices submitted by the 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.

The resignation, if it comes before September 10,  will trigger a special election in November to fill the remaining 38 months of Dansereau’s term.

Since the filing deadline for the primary election has passed, the  local political organizations will pick the candidates for the special election.  There will be an chance for independents to enter the race.

She was re-elected in 2019 after winning a hotly-contested Democratic primary by 219 votes, 42%-34%, over Donald Shaw.  A third candidate, Archange Antoine, won 24%.

Before her election as mayor, Dansereau was a Fifth Ward councilwoman, at-large councilwoman, and council president.

“Mayor Christine Dansereau has been a constant reminder in our community of Roselle how important equality is. As our First LGBTQ Mayor, she displayed and demonstrated by her actions that balancing fairness for all must be represented in all fronts,” said her predecessor, Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley (D-Roselle).  “I wish her well as she moves on.”

This story was updated at 11:19 AM with comment from Holley.

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