PLAINFIELD, NJ - No sooner did Assemblyman Jerry Green of Plainfield announce his resignation as Union County’s Democratic Party chairman than political pundits went into high gear with possible scenarios. But as speculation rages over what might happen next with Union County’s Democratic leadership, county vice-chair Colleen Mahr tells what must happen next.
As acting county chairperson due to the resignation of Chairman Jerry Green, Mahr advised 21 municipal Democratic Committee leaders:
“I write now to let you know that pursuant to the Union County Bylaws, Article V, Section 2, I am now charged with the responsibility of the office of Chairperson and must perform such duties until an election of a new Chair is held. These bylaws can be accessed at www.unioncountydems.com. In furtherance of these bylaws, I am required to convene a meeting of the twenty one municipal chairs, within 7 days on or before Wednesday January 31, 2018, for the purpose of discussing the date, time and location for the election of the County Chair. “
With midterm elections for U.S. Senate and House of Representative seats looming, strong Democratic leadership is a big issue in Union County, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1 (151,347 to 49,211). In Elizabeth, the difference is 32,108 registered Democrats to 3.500 Republicans; in Union, 16,969 to 4,183; in Plainfield, 14,994 to 974; and in Linden, 14,240 to 1,951, according to current affiliation statistics posted online by the Union County Board of Elections.
Political writers have named Fanwood Mayor Mahr and New Jersey Senator Nicholas P. Scutari as contenders for the chairmanship and alliances are forming for each. Green, who stated illness as his reason to relinquish the Union County Democratic Party chairmanship, won re-election to his Assembly seat on Nov. 7 for a two-year term. He has held the seat since 1992 and is the longest-serving member of the Assembly. If he also needs to resign from his Assembly seat, the Democratic Party can name an appointee who would then have to run in the next general election.
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