United States Election Assistance Comittee

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Commissioner Soaries Steps Down

Posted on April 22, 2005

WASHINGTON - U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner DeForest Blake Soaries, Jr. announced today that he is resigning, effective next Friday, April 29.

Dr. Soaries, former EAC chairman and former secretary of state of New Jersey, resigned to spend more time with his family, who reside in New Jersey.

"I am very proud of the work we’ve accomplished at the EAC – we’ve come a long way in a short amount of time," Dr. Soaries said. "We very quickly established a solid foundation and got a new federal agency up and running, delivered $1.8 billion to the states and assisted election officials throughout the country in the 2004 election.

"I believe in the mission of the EAC, and I will always support its work and the election officials who work so hard to make sure every vote counts. But as I am sure every parent understands, my family is my first priority."

Dr. Soaries is senior pastor of the 7,000-member First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. He is the former public director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and was a senior advisor to former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary.

Dr. Soaries’ replacement will be nominated by the President, after receiving recommendations from the majority leader of the U.S. Senate and the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The new commissioner will serve the remainder of Dr. Soaries’ term.