Douglas Cabana will seek re-election to the Morris County Board of Freeholders, clearing the path for Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township) to run for Surrogate.
“I think I’m going to stick with what I’ve got right now,” Cabana told the New Jersey Globe. “Continuing leadership is the best thing for the residents. We need to maintain stability in county government.”
Cabana says he expects to run on a ticket with incumbent Tom Mastrangelo and Kathy DeFilippo.
The eight-term freeholder has been a strong vote-getter in Morris County for 21 years. Cabana won his last primary by nearly 7,000 votes and his last general election by a margin of more than 41,000.
The incumbents face a primary challenge from former State Assembly staffer Donald Dinsmore, an ally of Republican County Chairman Ron DeFilippis. The Morris County GOP listed Dinsmore as a freeholder candidate in a social media post last week.
Carroll 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.
Popular Sheriff James Gannon is expected to seek re-election to a second term.
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.
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 Christie’s running mate, former Morris Township mayor Barbara Harris, by 3,524 votes after a bitter battle.