Warren County Republicans selected Michael Doherty, a popular five-term state senator, as their candidate for surrogate on Wednesday evening, setting up a likely special election convention for State Senate in December or January.
Doherty replaces Nancy Brown, who dropped out of the race last week. He was unopposed in tonight’s vote.
A longtime party stalwart, Brown was nominated to run in an election created by the death of Kevin O’Neill, a three-term Republican, died on April 25 at age 76 with more than three years left in his term.
Democrats have scheduled a September 8 convention to pick their candidate for surrogate.
They have one candidate so far: Maureen McCabe, a former Lopatcong councilwoman.
Doherty, who has been winning Warren County elections since his bid for freeholder 2000 – he unseated Democratic incumbent Ann Stone by eleven points – is the overwhelming front runner to win the general election. Democrats have not won a countywide election in Warren County in 23 years.
Former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt is the front-runner to succeed Doherty in the Senate.