SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- As many political watchers had predicted, the Scotch Plains Democrats have appointed current Deputy Mayor Josh Losardo as the party's candidate to run against Mayor Al Smith, a Republican, who is seeking reelection in November.

The decision was made by the local party officials at a meeting in Scotch Plains on Tuesday evening, ironically at about the same time as Smith's 76th birthday party/fundraiser held at the Shady Rest Clubhouse of Scotch Plains Country Club.

In a phone call with TAPintoSPF, Losardo comfirmed what had been rumored for the past few months.

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"The Democratic committee did approve my nomination and Ellen Zimmerman as my running mate of Town Council," said Losardo, who added that a formal announcement with further information about the candidates would come from the party later in the week. 

Mayor Smith confirmed that he had heard from the deputy mayor earlier in the day. 

"He called me and told me of his intentions, and I welcomed him to the race," Mayor Smith said in a phone interview with TAPintoSPF. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.