Essex County Democrats are going the caretaker route, filling the open District 3 freeholder seat with South Orange Democratic Municipal Chair Janine Bauer.
The move gives Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones some more time to decide who gets the seat, which has been held by an East Orange Democrat since Daniel Tindall won in 1978, when Essex switched to district freeholders.
The seat was vacated last month by Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange), who replaced Sheila Oliver in the State Assembly. The remaining two years of Timberlake’s term will be filled in a November special election. The filing deadline is in April.
There has been speculation that East Orange Councilwoman Alicia Holman would get the seat.
The 69-year-old Bauer served as a South Orange Village Trustee from 2009 to 2013, and lost a race for Village President in 2011 by 13 votes to 23-year-old Alex Torpey. She is a former director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a New York-based transportation reform group, and served as an assistant prosecutor in Mercer County and as a law clerk to New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Alan Handler.
Bauer will be the first white freeholder from District 3, which includes East Orange, South Orange, Orange and part of Newark’s West Ward.