Douglas Cabana has ruled out running for the State Assembly in the 25th district and will decide this month whether he will run for Morris County Surrogate or for re-election to the Board of Freeholders.
Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township) announced in May that he would give up the Assembly seat he first won in 1995 to run for Surrogate. The incumbent, John Pecoraro, is retiring next year after 25 years in the post.
Cabana told the New Jersey Globe that he’s not interested in going to Trenton and wants to spend one more term in Morris County, either as the surrogate or freeholder.
The eight-term freeholder has been a strong vote-getter in Morris County for 21 years. He won his last primary by nearly 7,000 votes and his last general election by a margin of more than 41,000.
Two other Republican freeholders, Tom Mastrangelo and Kathy DeFillippo, are both up for re-election this year.
Mastrangelo has been mentioned as a possible primary challenger to Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) in the 26th district, while DeFilippo could emerge as a 25th district Assembly candidate.
Morris County has become increasingly more Democratic in recent years. Democrats are expected to target the 25th district Assembly seats, where they have not won since 1977. A Democratic freeholder candidate came within 6,852 votes of winning this year, and Democratic congressional candidate Mikie Sherrill won Morris County by 16,826 votes.
Carroll and Cabana have faced off twice before. Ten years ago, Cabana lost a GOP Assembly primary by just 783 votes to his brother-in-law, Anthony M. Bucco; Carroll ran 510 votes ahead of Bucco. Cabana challenged Carroll in the 2003 Republican primary and lost.
A former mayor of Boonton Township, Cabana ran for freeholder in 1997 when Sue Ostergaard resigned to take a job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He defeated Randolph mayor Tyrone Barnes 246-153 in a special election convention. The previous year, Cabana lost a convention vote for freeholder by two votes to John Fox.
Cabana ran on a ticket with Morris Township mayor John Murphy and former freeholder Cecilia Laureys in a race against incumbent freeholders Chris Christie and John O’Keeffe. Murphy ran 6,753 votes ahead of Christie in a race that briefly stunted the future governor’s political career. Cabana beat former Morris Township mayor Barbara Harris by 3,524 votes after a bitter battle in which Harris charged Cabana with assault. Those charges were dismissed.