Kearny Mayor Al Santos is scheduled for a judge interview before the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday morning.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) nominated Santos, also the clerk for the Hudson County Board of Commissioners, for a Hudson County Superior Court judgeship earlier this month, which had been expected since the spring.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by state Senator Brian Stack (D-33), also the Union City mayor, is scheduled to have five judge interviews – which also includes Union City native Michael Noriega for the New Jersey Supreme Court – at Monday’s 10 a.m. session.
This likely means that Santos’ days as mayor, the office he’s held since 2000, are numbered, as The Observer first reported.
He will stay on until his nomination is approved by the entire Senate, which could happen as soon as next week, though could also stretch into the fall.
If the event that Santos received his judgeship appointment immediately, the Kearny Democratic Committee will select three candidates, one of whom will serve as acting mayor, before a special election in November – then another in November 2024.
However, if Santos’ appointment is delayed until mid-September, the acting mayor would sit until November 2024, meaning there would be no special election this year.
The Kearny Town Council consists of eight members, two representatives for all four wards, and like Santos, they are all Democrats.