With control of the Board of Freeholders up for grabs and an open seat for county clerk for the first time in twenty years, Salem County Democrat will hold a convention on Saturday to endorse candidates for the June primary.
Democrats are widely expected to back former freeholder Beth Timberman to run for clerk and Alloway township committeeman Warren Morgan III for freeholder on a ticket with longtime incumbent Lee Ware.
Republicans will hold their convention about six hours fore the Democrats.
Former freeholder Dale Cross to be their candidate for county clerk, and freeholder Scott Griscom is expected to seek re-election.
Democrats will need to win both seats to flip the current 3-2 Republican majority.
Republican Nilda Gill told the New Jersey Globe in January that she would not seek re-election to a fifth term as county clerk.
Timberman spent twelve years as a freeholder before stepping down in 2015. Her late father, Ben Timberman, was a freeholder for 24 years.
Only Timberman appeared before the county Democratic screening committee. Another candidate, Ryan Padilla, an administrative clerk for the Cumberland County Department of Corrections., did not screen but could file to run in the primary.
Ware has been a freeholder since October 2000, when he won a special election convention to replace his brother, Clinton Ware. His brother, a popular high school football coach, had spent 26 years as a freeholder before resigning toward the end of his battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Clinton Ware died in 2001 at age 59.
Morgan was elected to local office in Alloway in 2017, ousting incumbent Ed McKelvey by 102 votes, a 55%-46% margin.