Frank LaRocca resigned his post as a Councilman in Marlboro and his chairmanship of the Marlboro Democratic Committee earlier this month in order to become Keyport’s new Municipal Court Judge.
By NJ law, the vacancy is filled by the Party Committee of the departing office holder’s party nominating three candidates to fill the position. The governing body then selects one of the three to fill the vacancy until the next election.
The three candidates selected by the Marlboro Democratic Committee were Republicans until they each changed their affiliation to Democrat yesterday.
Michael Scalea, a member of the Township’s Recreation Commission is the only one of the three with any previous governmental experience in Marlboro. He is active as a coach in youth sports leagues and works as a technology consultant, according to Mayor Jon Hornik.
Dr. Peter Bufano, a chiropractor with offices in Freehold and Old Bridge and Vincent Rantinella, a financial advisor are the other two candidates selected by the Democratic Committee.
All three candidates are active volunteers in youth sports and recreation in the Township.
The candidate selected by the Marlboro Council will run for a full term with Councilwoman Randi Marder, who is seeking reelection, and Hornik who will be seeking a third term as Mayor.
Upon the swearing in of LaRocca’s replacement, Marlboro’s all Democratic governing body will consist of three former Republicans. Councilman Jeff Cantor and Councilwoman Carol Mazzola were both first elected as Republicans before changing to registered Democrats to join with Honik’s team.
Hornk, who was acting Chairman after LaRocca’s resignation, said that he looked for the three best community minded people to fill the vacancy, regardless of their party affiliation.
Honik said that he is enthusiastic about all three men joining his administration and will welcome one of them on his ticket for reelection with Marder. He said he will find volunteer positions on a board or commission for the candidates not selected to join the governing body.
Lynn Franco was elected the new Chair of the Marlboro Democratic Committee at the same meeting where the candidates to replace LaRocca on the Council were selected.