Councilwoman Rosemary Pino Joins Republicans in Bid for County Clerk Position


Update 2/18 7:05 pm: the PCRRO was initially incorrectly identified as the Passaic County Republican Party.

This morning, during an event for the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization at the Brownstone, City Councilwoman Rosemary Pino accepted an endorsement to be the organization's candidate of choice for the Passaic County Clerk position. The current clerk, Democrat Danielle Ireland-Imhof, will be running as the incumbent in November’s election. Her term expires on December 31, 2023.

While there are no legal obstacles to a sitting councilperson running for a county position, if Pino is elected she will have to resign her seat on the City Council. New Jersey statute 40A:9-4 says: “(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to hold simultaneously an elective county office and an elective municipal office.” If that happens, there will be a vacancy on the City Council which will need to be filled.

By tradition - which Clifton officials challenged in the recent mayoral selection - the remaining six councilors would turn to the eighth place candidate to fill the vacancy. For Clifton, that person is Chris D’Amato, a relative newcomer to the city who came within 700 votes of earning a place on the dais. “There’s never a dull moment in Clifton politics!” D’Amato said when we reached out for a comment. “If Councilwoman Pino feels she can best serve her community at the county level, that is a decision for her and ultimately the voters to make. As the council candidate who placed eighth in last year’s election, I will honor the faith placed in me by the public and step up however I am needed, but I am not watching council seats like a hawk waiting to swoop in. I want whatever is best for Clifton.”

On selecting her replacement, should Pino become the County Clerk, Councilwoman Lauren Murphy said that the Council hasn’t discussed it yet as it was very new information and she couldn’t say how they would choose the new councilor. Councilwoman Pino had not responded to a request for comment at the time this article was published.

Republican Chris Auriemma, whose live-to-Facebook video of this morning’s event made this information public, posted THIS VIDEO explaining exactly what the plan is from the Republican party. “We got a whole system now. We have like ten people we got set up. We’re hitting each city.” The ultimate plan, as he spells out, is to flip five Democratic districts and the NJ Senate to stop “every crazy, far left, radical thing that Murphy’s trying to push.” He goes on to say that they will obstruct the workings of the state in every way allowable in order to force Murphy’s hand. It appears that choosing to back Pino, who is a relatively young candidate at 44 and Latina, may be a strategic move to draw Hispanic voters away from the Democrats.

The Passaic County Clerk’s office is located in Paterson, New Jersey. The County Clerk is the official keeper of public records for Passaic County and ensures that public records are retained, archived, and made accessible to the public in accordance with all laws and regulations. The County Clerk also supports the elections process and provides a variety of other services. The Clerk's duties are established and regulated through a combination of New Jersey state statutes, local ordinances and charters, and other regulations.

The election for Passaic County Clerk will be held in November 2023, the timeline for which is set by the State of New Jersey. The county-wide offices on the ballot include Passaic County Clerk and Passaic County Commissioner.

This is a developing story. Updates will be added as they become available.

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