LOWER TOWNSHIP - Township Council has appointed North Cape May resident Jackie Henderson to the 3rd Ward seat recently vacated by Glenn Douglass

Henderson, 43, who is active with the Republican Party, will not hold the seat for long. She said she does not intend to run in the Nov. 5 election when voters will fill the one-year, unexpired term.

"I don't have a horse in this race. I'll do it for a couple of weeks," Henderson said.

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Douglass resigned the seat after he found out he had to in order to collect his state pension after retiring from the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Douglass, however, is allowed to get back into politics after one month and has already filed to run as an independent Nov. 5. He won office in 2010 as a Republican.

When Douglass resigned, the Republican Party submitted three names to council for his replacement, including Henderson; Brian McEwing, who was the party pick for the seat in 2010 but lost the Republican primary to Douglass; and Erik Simonsen, a former 2nd Ward councilman who vacated the seat in 2011 when he moved to a house in the 3rd Ward.

Simonsen has already been picked by the Republicans to run in November, and Henderson has endorsed him. Thom Will and George Doherty have also filed to run.

Councilman James Neville pushed to appoint Henderson because he did not want the seat to be vacant just weeks before the referendum question on whether Cape May should be allowed to leave the Lower Cape May Regional School District.

"Ward 3 should be represented for the next few meetings," said Neville.

The township is actively lobbying against Cape May leaving the district. Mayor Mike Beck said an automated phone message will go out to residents on the issue in the coming days.

"A reverse 911 call will make sure residents are aware the issue is on the ballot and advising them of the consequences should Cape May succeed," said Beck.

Henderson is married to Cape May police Detective Doug Henderson. They have two children, a son, Nick, 16, a junior at Lower Cape May Regional High School, and a daughter, Kelly, 14.

Henderson has served as a volunteer with West Cape May Boy Scout Troop 73 and the Sgt. William Alvarez Toy Drive of the Police Athletic League of Cape May. Last year, more than 175 children received Christmas gifts as a result of the toy drive.

She also serves as vice chairwoman of the Cape May County Library Commission and has been a member of the commission since 2006.

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