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Sussex County Commissioner Chris Carney. (Photo: Chris Carney.)

Chris Carney elected Sussex county commissioner

Frankford councilman will replace Hertzberg for remainder of term

By David Wildstein, January 30 2021 1:52 pm

Frankford Township Committeeman Christopher Carney scored a landslide victory today in his bid to fill a vacant seat on the Sussex County Board of Commissioners.

Carney defeated former Lafayette Mayor Carl “Bud” Luthman by a 63%-30% margin in a special election convention held  today, with Franklin Councilman Joe Limon receiving the remaining votes.

The seat opened up earlier this month after Joshua Hertzberg resigned to take a seat on the Sparta Township Council.

“I am humbled by the overwhelming support of my candidacy and trust that the committee members, elected officials and community leader have put in me to fill the vacancy on the Board of County Commissioners,” Carney said

Carney, 43, was first elected to the township committee in 2017 and was mayor of Frankford in 2020.  He is a member of Operating Engineers Local 825.

“We face great challenges – from a Covid virus that continues to ravage our citizens and cripple our economy, to an extreme state government that time and time again has failed us, forced small businesses closed, kept children out of schools and burdened everyday residents with overbearing regulations and crushing tax burdens,” he said.  “Despite the challenges, I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work for the people of Sussex County.”

He will fill the remainder of Hertzberg’s term and is expected to seek a full three-year term in the November 2021 general election.

Carney will be the first county commissioner in New Jersey history who never ran for freeholder.

New Jersey passed a law last year that eliminated the county Board of Chosen Freeholders and replaced it with a Board of Commissioners, effective January 1.

A decorated Vietnam helicopter pilot, Luthman, 77, was among the first amputees to return to active military duty.  He was first elected to local office in 1989 and served nine years in municipal government.

Hertzberg was first elected councilman in 2014 and became mayor in 2018.  He gave up his seat that year to team up with Franklin Council President Dawn Fantasia to take on incumbent freeholders Jonathan Rose and Carl Lazarro in the GOP primary.

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