The election of John DiMaio to represent the 23rd district in the State Assembly will require Warren County Republicans to hold another special election convention – their third this year – to fill DiMaio’s seat on the Board of Freeholders. The clock will start when DiMaio gets sworn in as an Assemblyman sometime next month; GOP County Chairman Douglas Steinhardt has 7 to 35 days to call the vote.
One potential candidate, former Warren County GOP Chairman Walter Orcutt, said on Wednesday that he will not be a candidate for DiMaio’s Freeholder seat.
Northwestern New Jersey Republican sources say that possible candidates include Oxford Mayor Angelo Accetturo, former Frelinghuysen Mayor Thomas Charles, Washington Township Mayor Samir Elbassiouny, Blairstown Mayor Richard Mach, Allamuchy Councilwoman Betty Schultheis, Belvidere Councilman Morris Scott, Washington Mayor Marianne Van Deursen, and Phillipsburg Mayor Harry Wyant. Edward Smith, who is Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Michael Doherty, is also considering a bid. If Smith wins, he could be a placeholder if Doherty finds himself without a public office to hold next year. Elbassiouny was one of a handful of Warren mayors to back Doherty for Senate against Karrow.
Steinhardt, who is also the Mayor of Hopatcong, will not be a candidate for Freeholder, sources say. He’s happy as County Chairman/Mayor and with his partnership at a politically powerful law firm.
In addition to the special election convention, there will be special primary and general elections for the DiMaio Freeholder seat in June and November, respectively. DiMaio’s seat is up in 2010. Freeholder Everett Chamberlain is also up for re-election to a three-year term in 2009.
Warren County does not have organization lines in primaries, which makes it easier for a candidate who loses the special election convention to run in the June primary anyway.