New Jersey Gov.-elect Christopher J. Christie yesterday nominated a Democratic prosecutor to be his attorney general. If confirmed by the Senate, Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow would take on one of the biggest roles in the new Republican administration.

Dow, 54, who was raised in Yeadon and went to law school at the University of Pennsylvania, is the first cabinet member nominated by Christie, a former U.S. attorney. Dow herself served in that position from 1994 to 2003, overlapping with Christie for about a year and a half. Christie promoted her to counsel and later recommended her to Gov. Jim McGreevey to become the county prosecutor.

Now a Maplewood resident, Dow went to high school in Yeadon. A single mother with boys ages 15 and 11, she graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and from Penn's law school in 1980. - Jonathan Tamari