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Lucas Lyons.

In West Amwell, Lyons wins again

Residency-dispute-fueled rematch ends with the same result

By Nikita Biryukov, May 12 2020 8:04 pm

Lucas Lyons defeated Lawrence Herman for the second time in as many years to win a seat on the West Amwell Township Committee Tuesday.

Lyons, a Republican, defeated the Democrat 517 to 338.

This was New Jersey’s first partisan election of the 2020 campaign and it comes in the swing 7th congressional district.

The result is largely the same as it was last year. The biggest difference is that Lyons almost certainly won’t be forced out of his newly-won seat by the courts.

West Amwell Democrats sued after the Republican defeated Herman in 2019, claiming Lyons was ineligible to hold the seat because the West Amwell native did not meet the 12-month residency requirement needed to run for local office.

Superior Court Judge Yolanda Ciccone ruled the Democrats were right and forced a special election.

Lyons will now serve out the remainder of his own unexpired term.

Despite it being a rematch, the courts’ decision and a global pandemic lent new color to the race.

Lyons viewed the residency suit as “unethical” and “frivolous,” and didn’t hesitate to attack his Democratic opponent over the matter.

Though it handed him a second chance at a seat on the Township Committee, Herman was also less than pleased with the court’s ruling.

Instead of forcing a special election, he said, he felt Ciccone should have just awarded him the seat.

“If you don’t abide by the rules, you lose,” he told the New Jersey Globe earlier in May.

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