Home>Highlight>Not much difference between Morris Surrogate candidates, Patrick Carroll says

Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township)

Not much difference between Morris Surrogate candidates, Patrick Carroll says

Position is largely administrative

By Nikita Biryukov, May 20 2019 2:39 pm

Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll on Monday said there wasn’t much difference between him and the other candidates seeking to become Morris County Surrogate

“It’s not like running for the Assembly. I can’t say I’m going to cut taxes, I’m going to scale back government — it’s an administrative job, so it’s basically an opportunity to serve,” he said. “I’m offering my services to you. If you want that, feel free, but I can’t say there would be a spectacular difference I would do the job and the way either one of my Republican colleagues would do the job.”

Patrick Carroll last year told the New Jersey Globe he would leave the legislature after more than 24 years in the Assembly to run for Morris County Surrogate.

He was tired of beating his head against a wall, he said.

But, Patrick Carroll isn’t the only one seeking to replace Surrogate John Pecoraro, who is not seeking re-election after more than 20 years in office.

Morris County Freeholder Heather Darling and Isabella Alfano, the corresponding secretary of the Parsippany Republicans, are vying for the seat, and it’s not clear how the candidates will differentiate themselves in their contest for the largely administrative position.

Michael Thompson, a trusts and estates attorney from Mendham, is the only Democrat seeking the seat.

County surrogates act as judges of the Surrogate’s Court, which deals with matters relating to inheritance, among other things.

“The three Republican candidates are all — one’s an elected official, the other’s had a good amount of life experience. Again, I ask the people to consider the fact that I’ve served them for all these years — and I’d like to continue serving — but I can’t simply say to them that there’s a substantial amount of difference between how I would do the job and how anybody else would do the job,” Patrick Carroll said. “It’s not that kind of a job, so it’s a difficult position for which to run.”

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One thought on “Not much difference between Morris Surrogate candidates, Patrick Carroll says

  1. There is a big difference between Carroll and Darling. Based on his remarks Carroll thinks the job of surrogate is basically a “no-show” opportunity to to pad his pension. Based on her prior remarks Heather Darling seems to understand that people who come into contact with the Surrogate are dealing with the death of loved ones, often without an attorney and they trust the Surrogate to provide the help and guidance that distinguishes that office from all the other parts of the Courthouse. Without a compassionate, knowledgeable person at the helm the office will not maintain the standards of excellence that the Morris County Surrogate’s Office is known for. And I know this first hand when from when I had to probate my father’s estate, not just from the calls i have taken as an attorney. I have been able to assure nearly every client that called that they really don’t need an attorney, the Surrogate’s staff are the most competent, helpful, and knowledgeable people you will ever meet in the courthouse complex.

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