The Atlantic County Republican Committee will meet tonight, (Wednesday, August 4, 2021, 5:30 p.m.) at the Scullville Volunteer Fire Station in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.

Following this special convention, former New Jersey Assemblyman Vince Polistina will officially become the State Senator-select from New Jersey’s 2nd legislative district (Atlantic County).

The vacancy is a byproduct of former State Senator Chris Brown resigning to become a ”Special Assistant” to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy regarding Atlantic City matters.

The first move for Polistina will be determining the process to be officially sworn in as a State Senator in a timely manner.

My recommendation is for Polistina to waste no time … immediately file the required paperwork … and be sworn in without delay.

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Numerous sources have conveyed to me that New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney does not intend to call the State Senate back into session prior to the November 2, 2021, General Election.

Gov. Phil Murphy greets Senate President Steve Sweeney before the budget speech on Feb. 25, 2020. (Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office)
Gov. Phil Murphy greets Senate President Steve Sweeney before the budget speech on Feb. 25, 2020. (Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office)

Some believe that this can prevent Polistina from being sworn in and prevent him from taking his seat for months.

My in-depth research and a review of recent past precedent completely reject this theory.

Former New Jersey Assemblyman Kirk Conover became a member of the Legislature through the exact same process that Polistina is currently doing.

Conover was sworn in and took his seat shortly after the Atlantic County Republican Committee selected him to fill the unexpired term of former Assemblyman Frank Blee.

Later, Conover had a separate swearing-in ceremony in the Assembly Chambers before his fellow colleagues.

The Assembly gathering was merely a ceremonial event. The official swearing-in event took place as previously mentioned.

Polistina cannot be denied the District 2 Senate seat for an extended period because the New Jersey Senate is not in session.

The collegial, professional, respectful, and decent thing to do is to call the Senate into the session so that the 39 other Senators can welcome Polistina to their ranks.

However, that is purely a ceremonial event and it holds no weight whatsoever as to whether Polistina can be sworn in immediately.

Polistina simply needs to file the vacancy paperwork and the results of the Atlantic County Republican Committee vote … and, then stand before a Judge, or, a Notary Public and be officially sworn into office.

The citizens of District 2 need their elected/selected representative to be seated without delay.

There are so many constituent service needs, especially at this critical time of the COVID-19 health pandemic.

This is not a time for partisan, petty politics to be employed.

Sweeney is a friend to Atlantic County and a good man. He won’t play any political games with something as important as a State Senator being promptly seated to serve his constituents.

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