In Roselle Park, when it comes to Democratic and Republican candidates running for municipal office, voters do not decide on who to vote for, they simply get to choose from candidates who have been already picked for them by municipal political committees.
The members of local political committees are the ones who decide who will run under their party line. During a primary, someone who is not picked by a local political committee but is registered as a Democratic or Republican can run against someone who has the party line. Whoever gets the most votes in the primary becomes the general election candidate. In Roselle Park, primary elections have been unopposed with only the party-backed candidates on the primary ballot.
In the past, residents have won seats on local political committees with as little as two (2) votes.”
Each major political party holds these elections every two years with Democratic committee elections taking place during odd-numbered years and Republican committee elections occurring every even-numbered year.
This year, Roselle Park Democratic Committee (RPDC) members run for seats on the local committee. 20 seats are up for election – four (4) seats for each of the five wards in Roselle Park. Each ward has two (2) districts with one man and one woman appointed for each district. Three (3) seats for RPDC committee members this year remain vacant.
Once elected, party committee members have the power to:
- Adopt or amend the by-laws and committee constitution;
- Interview and pick party-endorsed mayoral and council candidates for primary and general elections;
- Interview and pick vacancies in a local political committee;
- Have a say in who gets chosen for appointed positions in various municipal boards and committees, including appointing themselves and other members of their political committee;
- Recommend who serves as a paid election day poll worker, usually over residents not affiliated with either party for a non-partisan event.
Although the final decision to appoint someone to a local board or volunteer position is left to the mayor and/or council, names are usually presented by committee members to elected officials who are then considered before other residents, including those who have filled out Citizen Service Forms or who may have more experience or be better qualified.
As for who can become a Roselle Park Democratic Committee member, the qualifications are as follow:
- A resident of the election district;
- Registered to vote as a Democrat
The deadline for filing a nominating petition has expired but residents can write-in themselves or the person they choose who lives in their respective district as a committee member – as long as that person is registered as a Democrat. In the past, residents have won seats on local political committees with as little as two (2) votes.
Anyone who wants information on what ward and district they live in can find out by looking at the outside ballot that is mailed to all registered residents. The Borough Clerk’s Office can also be contacted at (908) 245-6180 to determine the ward and district a resident is registered in.
Primary election day is Tuesday, June 6th.