Primary Election Tomorrow

Unless in a Presidential election year in Roselle Park, most residents do not pay much attention to the primary election. It is usually just one person from each party running unopposed for a seat on council or for mayor. This year’s election falls on June 7th with the following candidates:

COUNCIL-AT-LARGECarl A. HokansonGlen C. Costello
FIRST WARD COUNCILLaurence DinardoRichard D. Huxford
SECOND WARD COUNCILJohn F. KennedyMarc P. Caswell

What most residents are unfamiliar with is the elections for County Committee seats for political parties which is held every alternating year for each party. This year, the Democratic Party is holding their County Committee election and with 12 open seats which had no petitions filed for, there is an opportunity for residents to become involved in the political process.

Why is it important?

Currently, the candidates running for the Democratic County Committee in Roselle Park are Joseph Alamo, Dawn K. Birkner, Joseph Gregory, Jean Marro, James D. McCrady, Melanie Selk, and Robert L. Zeglarski.

WardDistrictMale Member of County CommitteeFemale Member of County Committee
11No Petition FiledNo Petition Filed
12No Petition FiledDawn K. Birkner, 137 Berwyn Street
21Daniel Petrosky, 317 Sheridan Avenue No Petition Filed
22James D. McCrady, 26 East Colfax AvenueJean Marro, 830 Prospect Street
31Joseph Gregory, 206 Walnut StreetNo Petition Filed
32Joseph Alamo, 101 W. Colfax AveNo Petition Filed
41No Petition FiledNo Petition Filed
42No Petition FiledNo Petition Filed
51No Petition FiledNo Petition Filed
52Robert L. Zeglarski, 521 Chester AvenueMelanie Selk, 289 West Lincoln Avenue

The candidates are broken down by gender, ward, and district with a man an woman able to represent each of the two (2) district within the five (5) words of the borough.

Once elected, party committee members have the ability to adopt or amend the by-laws and constitution of the Roselle Park Democratic Committee. Although it may not be the case in Roselle Park, if bylaws call for a nominating committee to choose a party-endorsed candidate, the bylaws can be changed by committee members to have the entire committee choose a candidate instead.

All party-endorsed candidates for council and mayor from Robert Zeglarski to Joseph Accardi were all interviewed by their respective committees, voted on, and picked to represent their parties in primary and general elections.

Additionally, all vacancies – like the latest one which happened in the 2nd ward when Joseph Accardi won the election for mayor – were filled by candidates who interviewed before their party committee and were chosen by majority vote. In that case, current 2nd Ward Republican candidate Marc Caswell was picked by the Republican County Committee of Roselle Park to fill the vacancy.

Party committee members also have a say in who gets chosen for appointed position in various municipal boards and committees. Although the final say is left to the mayor and/or council, names are usually presented by committee members to elected officials which are then considered before other residents, including those who have filled out Citizen Service Forms.

Finally, party committee members often recommend the selection of election day poll workers.

Who can become a Democratic Committee Member?

Anyone who is 18 years old, a resident of the election district, and is registered to vote as a Democrat has the right to become a committee member. Although the deadline for filing a nominating petition has expired, 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.

Although the minimum number of signatures needed for a nominating petition are needed for write-in votes in other elections, people have won seats on County Committees with as little as two (2) votes. There has not been a case in recent history where a person who received the most votes – even if the number was less than minimum of that for a nominating petition – was denied a seat on a County Committee to represent their party.

On the outside ballot which is supposed to be mailed to all registered residents, the ward and district which someone is registered to vote in will appear on the front of the ballot. If you are unsure or have not received a ballot, the Borough Clerk’s office at (908) 245-6180 can be contacted to determine the ward and district you are registered in. A map showing the boundaries of each ward and district can also be requested.

In 2012, the Roselle Park Republican County Committee will be holding its election for party committee members.