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Aura Dunn is about to become a “former assemblywoman.”
Wait a minute, you may say, wasn’t Dunn just sworn-in to replace Anthony M. Bucco in Morris County’s 25th District?
Yes, she was. But when we’re dealing with political maneuvering, things get complicated.
Dunn of Mendham was indeed selected at a Nov. 22 Republican convention to replace Bucco, who became a senator after the death of his father in September.
But here’s the complication.
Dunn was named only to complete Bucco’s current term, which ends next Tuesday when the Assembly session concludes.
Now we come to the next Assembly term that commences at noon that same day.
Bucco is in the Senate, but, if you recall, he still ran in last fall’s election for the state Assembly. Bucco won, but as a senator, he has no intention of taking the Assembly seat that he technically won on Nov. 5
That will leave a vacancy. And state law says such vacancies must be filled through a convention. As of Thursday morning, no such convention has been scheduled.
So, the seat will be vacant until a replacement convention to fill Bucco’s second vacant term occurs.
Others can run in that convention, although Dunn, who won the Nov. 22 convention handily, certainly would be expected to win again.
But as of next Tuesday, Dunn will be out of office – at least for a while.
All this likely would have been avoided if Bucco joined the Senate last fall and gave up his Assembly reelection bid. That would have allowed whoever won the November election to take office next Tuesday.
But then again, why make things simple?