Gov. Chris Christie has yet to name a replacement for longtime Ocean County Sheriff William L. Polhemus, who died almost two months ago.
Undersheriff William T. Sommeling has been running the department since Polhemus died on Dec. 14.
"Governor Christie has not made a decision on a replacement at this point," said Sean Conner, a spokesman for the governor's office. "When that determination is made by the Governor, it will be made known publicly in the normal course of such announcements."
Polhemus, 84, died little more than a month after he had been elected to another three-year term as sheriff, following a medical procedure.
Polhemus would have entered his 28th year as sheriff in 2013. During the campaign, some questioned whether the aging sheriff would be able to perform his duties.
Polhemus, a Republican, declined to debate with his two opponents and never responded to Patch's numerous requests for an interview.
But he won re-election easily, garnering nearly 56 percent of the vote for sheriff with 110,450 votes. Democratic challenger George "Bob" Armstrong garnered 82,031 votes cast, and Independent John McMenamin received less than 3 percent, with 5,140 votes.
Polhemus' replacement must be a Republican, who will serve until the November election, according to state statute. Sources have said longtime Toms River Police Chief Michael G. Mastronardy is high up on the list for a successor.