Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to move quickly to name five temporary members of the Trenton City Council.

Permanent members will not be selected until the city conducts two runoff elections and the results are certified in early February.

Without the appointments, no government business can be conducted because there would not be enough sitting members on the council to achieve the required quorum.

A judge has ordered two separate runoff elections. Voters will decide the North and South Ward council members on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Then another election will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 24, for three at-large council seats.

The results of those elections will not become official until they are certified by elections officials in February.

That means the council will have only two sitting members as of Jan. 1.

Under state law, the governor is required to appoint individuals to vacant seats within 30 days of the vacancy. However, given the chronic dysfunction of the Trenton council, NJ Globe reports Murphy is not expected to delay.

Mayor Reed Gusciora easily won reelection in November, but in a number of contentious council races, no candidate secured a 50% majority, triggering the runoff elections.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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