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Essex County Deputy Superintendent of Elections and Commissioner of Registration Patty Spango. (Photo: Facebook.)

Spango will get top Essex elections post

Former West orange council president will replace retiring GOP incumbent

By David Wildstein, December 28 2020 11:30 am

Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to nominate former West Orange Council President Patty Spango to serve as Essex County Superintendent of Elections and Commissioner of Registration, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Spango is the choice of Essex County Democrats to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Edna Baugh, a Republican who held the post since 2015.  She had served as deputy superintendent since 2015.

The top post traditionally goes to the political party of the governor, with the representative of the other party serving as deputy.

Republicans have asked Murphy to name Nancy Donatiello, a longtime Board of Elections employee, to replace Baugh.

Spango, a two-term councilwoman, is a longtime player in Democratic politics.  He son, James Spango, is the mayor of Roseland and the chief of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department.  She is the former owner of Starlite Pizza in West Orange.

Donatiello has spent the last eight years as an election worker and is a member of IBEW Local 1158.

In 2012, Donatiello was one of ten county election workers employees who lodged a workplace harassment complaint against then-Superintendent Kathy Sumter, also a Republican.

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