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Morris County Freeholder Douglas R. Cabana

Morris Republicans hold four countywide offices

Three commissioners re-elected, while Sheriff James Gannon wins unopposed

By Joey Fox and David Wildstein, November 09 2022 1:04 am

Democrats have won countywide elections in 20 other New Jersey counties since 1973, the last time they won a countywide contest in Morris County.  While Morris continues to turn slightly bluer each year – Joe Biden won the county two years ago – the New Jersey Globe projects that Republicans have continued their 49-year winning streak this year by re-electing three GOP county commissioners and their sheriff.

Republicans Douglas Cabana and Tom Mastrangelo (both 18.8%) were re-elected to their seats on the Morris County Board of Commissioners, with Christine Myers (19.1%) set to return to the board after leaving four years ago to take a job in the Trump administration.

As of 1:04 a.m., they lead Democrats Judy Hernandez (14.7%), T.C. McCourt (14.3%) and Alicia Sharma (14.2%).

Republican Sheriff James Gannon won re-election to a third term without opposition.

A former mayor of Boonton, Cabana has now scored his tenth term, first winning a freeholder race in 1997 on his second try.   He lost a special election convention in 1996 to former Sheriff John Fox, and then defeated Randolph mayor Tyrone Barnes 246-153 in a special election convention after Sue Ostergaard resigned to take a job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

In the 1997 GOP primary, 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.

The three-candidate slate that Republicans are running for county commissioner is the product of months of complex and often bitter infighting.

Commissioner Kathy DeFillippo announced in December 2021 that she was retiring, and incumbent Commissioners Doug Cabana and Tom Mastrangelo backed Pequannock Councilwoman Melissa Florance-Lynch to replace her. But Republican county committee members completely ignored their alliance, giving the line to Cabana, former Freeholder Christine Myers, and Mendham Township Committeewoman Sarah Neibart instead.

While Florance-Lynch ended her bid there, Mastrangelo forged ahead with an off-the-line campaign – and he won, narrowly beating Neibart for the third spot in the Republican primary.

Mastrangelo, who spent the general election estranged from his running mates and fellow commissioners, must now decide if he’ll follow through on threats to take on Assistant Senate Minority Leader Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) in the 2023 GOP State Senate primary in the 26th legislative district.

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