Freeholder Primary Gets Crowded, Murphy Out
Seven Republicans have filed primary petitions so far for the county board; several more have declared intentions.
Freeholder John Murphy said Tuesday he is not seeking re-election in the June Republican primary, ending a 21-year public career.
The 15-year Republican freeholder from Morris Township said he wants to spend more time with his family.
“I did this for 15 years and for six years as mayor and on the council. It’s time for my family and children at home,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s exit adds a new wrinkle to an already jumbled race for three seats on the currently all-Republican freeholder board.
Incumbent Freeholder Director William Chegwidden of Wharton said Tuesday he will file his petition on time, and incumbent Gene Feyl of Denville filed his petition in December.
Feyl’s name has surfaced as a potential replacement for Eileen Swan, the former chairman of the Highlands Council that oversees the implementation of the 2004 Highlands Preservation and Water Protection Act.
The Highlands Council fired Swan earlier this month, and her deputy quit in protest. The council has not started a search for a replacement.
Feyl said recently that he has not been approached by the governor’s office about the Highlands Council post, and until and unless it happens, he is a candidate for his freeholder seat.
The freeholder board was also shaken up this year when a state appeals court ordered that incumbent Margaret Nordstrom be removed from office over a disputed June 2011 primary. Nordstrom had won the November general election.
William “Hank” Lyon, who was Nordstrom’s opponent in the 2011 primary, won a March 10 special convention ordered by the court. He was sworn in immediately following that election, and is serving until the end of the year.
That uncompleted term is on the November ballot.
Lyon, who has yet to file a nominating petition, said at the convention he will file one before Monday’s deadline.
With the addition of Lyon’s seat to the ballot, November’s election will see a majority of the seven freeholder seats contested.
The Morris County Clerk’s office said Tuesday that the following Republican candidates have so-far filed petitions: Incumbent Gene Feyl; Florham Park Councilman Charles Germershausen; Morristown Councilwoman Alison Deeb; Parsippany Councilman John Cesaro; former Mount Olive Mayor David Scapicchio; and former Washington Township Councilman John Krickus.
Jeremy Jedynak, a state employee, has declared his candidacy, but has not filed his petition.
Jedynak said he will file the petition on time. He said if elected he will refuse to accept the salary and benefits that come with the freeholder job. He receives his benefits from the state as part of his job.
Cesaro, Krickus and Scapicchio are running as a Conservative team.
No Democrats had filed petitions by Tuesday.
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