35th District Democrats today elected Elease Evans to the State Assembly. She will fill the unexpired term of Alfred Steele, who resigned last week after his arrest on bribery charges, and will seek a full-term in the Assembly in November.
Evans, the Passaic County Freeholder Director and former Paterson NAACP President, became the unanimous choice at a Special Election Convention after party leaders agreed to support her earlier this morning.
Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie said that Evans will serve in both offices for now, but will step down as Freeholder sometime before the completion of her current term, which expires in January 2009. Under the new state law banning dual officeholding, Evans would be eligible to hold both posts, if she wanted to.
"I'll miss her," said Freeholder Bruce James.
Evans, a grandmother of nine, was elected Freeholder in 2002 and re-elected in 2005. Before running for office, she spent 33 years at the Passaic County Board of Social Services.
Paterson Council President Ken Morris, Haledon Mayor Domenick Stampone, and Rev. David Thornton had also expressed interest in the vacant Assembly seat.