Murphy is appealing to the mayor of Ocean Township for the top electoral post in Monmouth
Monmouth County may have a new Superintendent of Elections after Governor Phil Murphy named Ocean Township Mayor Christopher Siciliano on Monday.
He would replace Mary DeSarno, a Republican who has held the position since 2016. He was a registered Democrat until earlier this year when he moved to unaffiliated.
“In anticipation that something like this might happen, it’s better that I have that ID and not a D or an R,” Siciliano told The New Jersey Globe. “It will help people maintain confidence in the election.”
Siciliano, who is well-liked by both parties, has been mayor for eight years and spent nearly two decades on the township council, running only in nonpartisan municipal elections.
If confirmed by the state Senate, Siciliano would have to step down from his seat on the city council. But he will remain in office until the Senate acts.
Since a confirmation vote is unlikely to take place before September 15, there will be no special election this fall.
Instead, the four remaining board members will decide on a replacement who will complete Siciliano’s term. Ocean Township has nonpartisan elections and all five seats are up in May 2023.
The existing council will also have to choose a new mayor. John P. Napolitani, Sr., the current deputy mayor and Democrat, would serve in the interim position until the governing body makes its decision.
A Siciliano-backed team won four of the five seats in 2019.
Robert Acerra was dropped from Siciliano’s ticket after running as a Republican candidate for state assembly in the 11th District in 2017, but was re-elected by 68 votes.
Councilor Margie Donlon is a Democrat and Councilor David Fisher is not affiliated with either party.
DeSarno should remain in another position. She had unsuccessfully run for the Wall Township committee as a Democrat in 1983, 1985 and 1990, but later switched parties and became Wall GOP town chairwoman in 2008.