Former Morris County Freeholder Hank Lyon has abandoned his bid for a political comeback, leaving his running mates one candidate short of a full ticket.
Lyon, who gave up his freeholder seat to run for the State Assembly, filed nominating petitions on Monday to run with incumbent Deborah Smith and another ex-freeholder, John Krickus.
“It has been one wild week,” Lyon said in a Facebook post. “Unfortunately, today I decided to withdraw my candidacy for Morris County Freeholder. Instead, I will focus my attention on other endeavors. I wish the remaining candidates well.”
Sources say that Lyon didn’t felt uncomfortable with the drama surrounding the race for Morris County Republican Chairman and thought the campaign apparatus behind the ticket was not well organized. The sources say that pressure for an endorsement of Rob Zwigard for chairman helped push Lyon out.
Lyon is reportedly interested in running for the Assembly again and viewed the timeline as untenable if Jay Webber is elected to Congress. He would need to begin campaigning for the legislature even before taking the oath of office as a freeholder.
Former Morris County Sheriff Ed Rochford had harsh words for Lyon in a Facebook post.
“He has now screwed Deborah,” Rochford wrote. “Remember, I supported Hank and worked closely with him. He has changed, and not for the better.”
The announcement Monday of a Smith/Lyon/Krickus ticket seemed to generate some excitement among Morris County Republicans. But one source suggested that the oxygen has left and that “Smith and Krickus are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”