MANCHESTER – Mayor Kenneth Palmer has been nominated to serve as a Superior Court judge, but he would have to step down as mayor if he is chosen.
Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Palmer on June 10. The mayor’s name is on a list of nominees submitted by Murphy to the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee.
The governor is working to fill judicial vacancies across New Jersey and Palmer’s receipt of a “notice of intent to nominate” is part of that process.
That process also involves Palmer’s application and an interview which will be reviewed by members of the judiciary committee. Should he be approved, Palmer’s nomination will then be presented to the full state Senate for approval.
Murphy is a Democrat and Palmer is a Republican.
Palmer said of the opportunity, “I am truly humbled to be considered for the Superior Court position and thankful to Governor Murphy for moving my name forward. Presiding as a judge has always been my dream job and if fortunate enough to be confirmed, I will strive to make sure each litigant gets a fair shake at justice.
“If confirmed I will have to resign as mayor. It has certainly been my honor to represent the residents of Manchester and lead the wonderful employees. I do love Manchester Township, the town I grew up in and where I will continue to raise my kids.”
The 48-year-old attorney owns and operates his owns the Law Offices of Kenneth T. Palmer, PC. Manchester was his home town and he graduated from Tulane Law School in 1997.
Palmer served a judicial clerkship with Superior Court Judge Donald F. Campbell in Ocean County for 12 months.
He later became an associate attorney for six years at the law firm of Finley & Buckley, PC in Atlanta, Georgia but returned to Ocean County in 2004 where he opened his own law office. He took the oath of office as mayor of Manchester Township in January of 2015. His tenure as mayor includes serving in that role during the pandemic of 2020-21 and helping to launch the township’s full-time Emergency Medical Services program that started in March of 2020.
The mayor has also been involved in recent months with the development of the township’s full-time fire department program that will supplement the services of its volunteer fire companies. He has frequently used social media as an added means to communicate with the public and respond to their questions concerning the township.