PATERSON, NJ – The vacant at-large seat on the City Council will be put up for election in May, along with the six ward positions.

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State law requires the contest for the unexpired seat to be held at the next municipal election, as long as the election is not less than 60 days after the vacancy occurred, according to a memo issued by Paterson Corporation Counsel Paul Forsman.

In the interim, the city council has the option of appointing someone to fill the seat on a temporary basis, until the election is held, according to Forsman’s memo. But council members have said they prefer not to give someone the inside track and would rather have the voters decide who fills the vacancy created by Benjie Wimberly’s move to the state Assembly.

The city clerk’s office already has begun distributing nominating petitions for the wards. Officials said the petitions for the at-large seat likely will be available later this week.

So far, Kenneth McDaniel, Pedro Rodriguez and Frank Filipelli have indicated they plan to run for the at-large seat.