Not surprising party brass and rank-and-filers who were preparing for a battle – just in case, Passaic County Clerk Karen Brown announced she will not run for reelection to a second term, informing Democratic Party supporters in a letter this morning.
"Serving as County Clerk has been a great privilege, and I thank all of my supporters for their confidence in my abilities. Nonetheless, it is with mixed emotions that I announce my intention not to seek re-election as Passaic County Clerk," wrote Brown, a Clifton lawyer who's originally from Paterson.
"For the past four years of my life, I have enjoyed the great honor of working with all the residents in our County. I am proud of my accomplishments, and I will leave this office knowing that the Office of the Clerk in Passaic County is more professional, efficient and accessible to the public than it was when I took office."
Passaic County sources say possible Democratic Party contenders for clerk include Woodland Park Councilman Keith Kazmark, and former County Clerk Ronnie Nochimson, who was defeated by Brown in 2004. Nochimson has since changed her party registration from Republican to Democrat.
Kazmark may have an edge with party leadership. He's part of the reason for Brown's departure, in fact, as he was once County Democratic Party Chairman John Currie's choice for deputy clerk.
Currie tried to move him into Brown's department, and met resistance from Brown.
On the basis of the fallout from that fight, which Brown won at the time when Kazmark didn't get the job, sources say the one-term clerk decided against running again rather than kiss the ring to win Currie's coveted organizational line.
Currie issued a Tuesday morning statement.
“Karen Brown is truly one of the young leaders of the Passaic County Democratic party," the chairman said."I am proud of her service, and the residents of Passaic County owe her a debt of gratitude.I am confident that Karen’s public service is in the beginning stages, and I look forward to working with and supporting her as she finishes her term as Passaic County Clerk andin any of her future endeavors.”