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Clerk's Office Announces Special Election for Vacant Newark Council Seat

Seat has been empty since Donald Payne's election to Congress last year.

Petition forms will be available next week for those seeking to fill the unexpired term of Donald Payne Jr. on the Newark Municipal Council, the city clerk’s office announced Wednesday.

Payne’s seat has been vacant since November 2012, when he was elected to Congress from the 10th District. Payne succeeded his father, Donald Payne, who died in March 2012.

Days after the younger Payne left the municipal council, Mayor Cory Booker tried to cast a vote for a schools advisory board member named Shanique Speight to fill the vacant seat on the nine-member governing body. Four members of the council supported Speight and four were opposed. The four members opposed to Speight’s election challenged the decision in court. 

A judge threw out Booker’s vote in December 2012, leaving the seat vacant.

The petition forms can be picked up beginning June 20 from 10 am to 4 pm at the city clerk’s office, Room 309 at city hall. Prospective candidates must file their petitions by 4 pm Sept. 3. The special election for the council seat will be held on the same date this November as the general election. Candidates must obtain at least 1,469 valid petition signatures, a clerk’s office spokesperson said.

The winner will serve until June 30, 2014. An election for a full term will be held in May 2014.

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