Home>Campaigns>In Morris upset, Mastrangelo loses GOP line

Morris County Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo. (Photo: Facebook.)

In Morris upset, Mastrangelo loses GOP line

Cabana, Myers, Neibart win

By Joey Fox, March 04 2022 11:55 pm

Morris County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo lost the Morris County Republican organization line on Friday night, imperiling his chances to win re-election to a fifth term. Instead, the organization line went to nine-term Commissioner Doug Cabana, former Commissioner Christine Myers, and Mendham Township Committeewoman and former mayor Sarah Neibart.

Cabana was finished first with 390 votes, followed by Myers (386) and Neibart (336). Mastrangelo finished fourth with 261 votes, and Pequannock Mayor Melissa Florance-Lynch received 233 votes.

Mastrangelo has not said if he will run off the line, and it’s unclear whether Florance-Lynch will remain in the race.

The results represents a political comeback for Myers, who left the board in 2018 to serve in the Trump administration’s Small Business Administration. It is also the second convention upset since Morris Republicans switched from an open primary to an organization line in 2021. Last year, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) lost the convention – and ultimately the primary – to challenger Christian Barranco.

When incumbent County Commissioner Kathy DeFillippo announced her retirement earlier this year, she, Cabana, and Mastrangelo quickly threw their support behind Florance-Lynch, as did a large number of Morris County mayors.

But Neibart won the endorsement of three other commissioners – John Krickus, Deborah Smith, and Stephen Shaw – establishing herself as a clear contender for the nomination.

This was Florance-Lynch’s second bid for county commissioner. She ran in a February 2021 special election convention after Heather Darling resigned to become Morris County Surrogate, but finished third with 18% of the vote in a four-candidate race that was won by Tayfun Selen.

Morris County Sheriff Jim Gannon is also up for re-election this year, but he faces no intra-party opposition.

While Democrats have seen increasing success in Morris County in recent years, with both President Joe Biden and Senator Cory Booker carrying the county in 2020, that success has yet to fully translate down ballot. Democrats were unable to flip any of Morris County’s countywide offices in the Trump era, and they are unlikely to break that streak now that Biden is president and the political environment favors Republicans; the party has not won a countywide election in Morris County since 1973.

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