NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Bellante has announced her resignation from the board, making her the second official to step down from the panel since October.
Bellante, who remains on the board through Thursday, Feb. 2, submitted her letter of resignation to the county clerk last Friday. Her seat is up for grabs in this fall’s election.
In the note, Bellante, a Democrat, said she’s leaving her post to “pursue other professional opportunities.” A person with knowledge of Bellante’s decision said she is essentially choosing to retire.
County Democrats will now put forth the names of three nominees to fill the remaining 11 months of her term. Party leaders have already mentioned Leslie Koppel, a councilwoman in Monroe, as one option, according to the insider.
Whoever takes Bellante’s seat would likely then run on the Democratic ticket in November alongside Freeholders Charles Tomaro and Shanti Narra. They will each campaign for three-year terms on the board.
Narra was appointed to the board late last year, after former Freeholder H. James Polos resigned to become executive director of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority. Narra previously served as a councilwoman in North Brunswick.
Early indications suggest that the board will likely appoint Tomaro to take over as deputy director once Bellante officially steps down.
Her final day falls on Thursday, Feb. 2. A freeholder meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. that evening.
Bellante won her third term as a freeholder in November 2014.
During her time as a freeholder, Bellante chaired the county’s administration committee. She has focused on services for senior citizens, open space and recreational facilities, according to the county website.
She lives in South Brunswick, where she previously served as deputy mayor, councilwoman and zoning board member.
She grew up in the Hub City and graduated from New Brunswick High School in 1959, according to her biography on the county website.