WARREN, NJ  - This fall, voters in the Watchung Hills sending districts will elect candidates to both the K-8 and high school boards of education.

One candidate has filed for the three seats up for re-election  on the Warren Township Board of Educationand three candidates filed for the two available Warren Township seats on the Watchung Hills Regional High School Board of Education, according to the Somerset County Clerk's Office.

 

Current Warren Township Board of Education member Patricia Zohn has filed for re-election, however, current board members Lisa DiMaggio and Jeannine Sarosy did not file for re-election, according to the clerk's office.

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At Watchung Hills, three candidates have filed for the two Warren Township seats available on the Watchung Hills Regional High School District Board of Education. Running for re-election is Board of Education member Robert Morrison, and newcomers Charles Behm, and Naresh Chand. John Fahy is not seeking re-election to the Watchung Hills Board of Education but is running for a seat on the Warren Township Committee.

 

A candidate must have filed a nominating petition with the county clerk for his or her name to appear on the ballot, and the deadline to submit the nominating petition was 4 p.m. Monday, July 29.  The election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5. If three candidates don’t file by the deadline, the process is detailed below.

 

If three candidates don’t file by the deadline, the process is:

 

  • Write-in votes are counted and the individual with the highest number of write-in votes is offered the position as long as that person is a qualified candidate. If the person elected does not wish to serve, the seat does not go to the next highest vote getter, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association. Instead, the Somerset County superintendent appoints someone to the seat.
  • If there is a tie among the write-in candidates and one or more is eligible and wishes to hold the position, a special election is called among the write-in candidates.
     
    • There is no minimum number of write-in votes needed. A single write-in vote can elect so long as the write-in candidate qualifies for and agrees to accept the office.
       
      Qualifications (appointment and election)
      Each member of any board of education shall, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1:
    • Be a United States citizen;
    • Be a resident of the district for at least one year at the time of election or appointment;
    • Be able to read and write;
    • Be a registered voter in the district where the person is submitting the nomination
      petition (or being appointed);
    • Not be disqualified as a voter pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:4-1;
    • Not have been convicted of any of the crimes or offenses enumerated in N.J.S.A.
      18A;12-1 or conspiracy to commit or attempt to commit any of said crimes;
    • Not be the mayor or a member of the governing body of the municipality; or
    • Not have a direct or indirect contract with or claim against the board.
      Additional information can be obtained from the New Jersey School Boards Association at https://www.njsba.org/about/membership/school-board-candidacy/ or by contacting board secretary Patricia Leonhardt. 

 

Prospective school board candidates can download candidate information from the New Jersey School Boards Association’s web site at NJSBA School Board Candidate Kit. The School Board Candidate Kit includes information about nominating petitions, legal qualifications for school board candidacy, and the role of the school board member.  Information about the New Jersey School Ethics Act and important dates in the school election process are also included.

“One of the most meaningful contributions that citizens can make to their community is serving on the local board of education,” said Daniel Sinclair, NJSBA president.  “I encourage all interested citizens to consider school board membership. It doesn’t require a degree in education, or a background in politics. However, it does require a sincere interest in the community, its children, and their education.”

For all of Somerset County: http://somersetcountyvotes.com/schoolCandidates.html

For Morris County: https://morriscountyclerk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-General-School-Candidates-072919.pdf

 

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