Two parties qualify for political party recognition by the State of New Jersey and hold statewide Primary Elections — the Democratic and Republican parties. Each holds a primary election in June, the purpose of which is to elect candidates who will represent their respective party in the November General Election.
The primary elections are also used to elect members of each parties’ state and local committees.
Every four years, voters elect two Sussex County candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties to represent their respective party at the state level — these partisan representatives are called State Committee members.
The members of State Committee of each political party are elected at the primary election of the year in which a Governor is to be elected. The term of a State Committee member is four years. The members of each political party are elected to represent Sussex County at the State level. The State Committee members elected at the June 2017 Primary are: Republican State Committee members Jill Space and F. Parker Space; and Democratic State Committee members Michele Van Allen and Benjamin A. Silva. The next election for State Committee members takes place in 2021.
Municipal / County Committee
County committee members work together to advance the ideals of their party on the local level. They also have a voice in recommending the candidates who will represent their party. When a municipality’s governing body has a vacancy, that town’s county committee membership is instrumental in filling the vacancy.
Sussex County’s Democratic county committee members are elected every two years, whereas the county’s Republican county committee members are elected every four years. Both parties hold their elections in odd-numbered years. The county committee members are grouped by party (Republican & Democratic) and by municipality. The members of the municipal committees of political parties must reside in the district which they will respectively represent (there are 119 districts in Sussex County; each district has two members elected to represent the district). Each party’s county committee determines, by its bylaws, the districts into which the county shall be divided for the purpose of representation in the county committee.
About County Committee (ref. N.J.S.A. 19:5-3, 19:13-20)
- The members of the county committee of each of the political parties shall take office on the first Saturday following their election, on which day the terms of all members of such committees theretofore shall terminate.
- The annual meeting of each county committee shall be held on the first Tuesday following the primary election.
- When a member of a county committee ceases to be a resident of the district from which elected, a vacancy on the county committee results.
- County committee members may resign upon written notification to the county clerk and their party chair (notarized signature required).
- The term of county committee membership is two years.
- In Sussex County, elections for both Democratic & Republican County Committee membership are held in odd-numbered years, e.g., 2021, 2023, 2025
Information and petition to run as candidate for Party County Committee