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From Cathleen to Catherin: Lawrence Township Council appoints new member

The Lawrence Township Council has appointed lifelong resident Catherin “Catie” MacDuff to fill the vacancy on the council that was created by the resignation of former Township Councilwoman Cathleen Lewis in early January.

MacDuff was chosen from among three nominees to fill the vacancy at the Lawrence Township Council’s Jan. 17 meeting. She will fill out the remainder of Lewis’ four-year term, which expires Dec. 31, 2023.

Lewis, who is a Democrat, resigned from the Council Jan. 3. She was elected to the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners in the November general election, and was sworn into office at its Jan. 4 reorganization meeting.

Because Lewis is a Democrat, it was up to the Lawrence Township Democratic Municipal Committee to nominate a replacement for her. The committee met and recommended three candidates to the Council to fill the vacant seat.

The three nominees were interviewed in a closed meeting by the Council on Jan. 17, shortly before the public meeting. The Township Council took action during its public meeting.

Township Councilman Michael Powers said choosing from among the three nominees was difficult.

“We are blessed to have three wonderful candidates,” he said.

Mayor John Ryan and Township Councilman Christopher Bobbitt agreed that the three women were “great” candidates.

MacDuff was immediately sworn into office by Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (D-15).

Ryan handed a Lawrence Township lapel pin to a pleasantly surprised MacDuff after she stepped up onto the dais to take her seat with the rest of the Council.

MacDuff thanked the Council for their vote of confidence in her. Turning to the public, she said she is “ready to serve.”

She is a member of the Lawrence High School Class of 2012. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rider University. She received a law degree from Rutgers University School of Law. She is an attorney with the Lawrence Township-based law firm of Stevens & Lee.

MacDuff said she decided to seek the open seat because there is a need for someone to represent the “younger perspective” on the Council, and who understands the issues confronting young people.

“I want to represent that portion of the population,” MacDuff said.

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