MORRIS COUNTY — Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, both are seeking the Republican nomination for governor in the primary, gave opening remarks in a crowed room at Charlie Brown’s in Denville at Morris County Young Republicans monthly meeting.
In addition 25th Legislative District representatives Senator Anthony R. Bucco, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, and Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll. They are not challenged in the Republican primary in June.
The four republicans are seeking the three-year seat to be vacated on January 1 by William “Hank” Lyon, Parsippany, who is running instead in the Republican primary for the two-year state Assembly seat in the 26th Legislative District that is currently occupied by BettyLou DeCroce, also of Parsippany.
Michael Crispi, is 24 years old, the same age Hank Lyons was when he first ran for Freeholder.
Crispi, a Cedar Knolls resident, believes he may be the answer to directly combat the rising issues in Morris County while persevering the aspects that make the county great.
Crispi captured the attention of his Young Republican associates Sunday night when he declared, “We have, in my mind, one of the most enviable places to live in the United States. With that being said it blows my mind that we are experiencing a rise in our median age.” “The question has been asked many times in the past few months by elected officials; how can we reverse this trend? Well the answer lies in true fiscal conservatism,” he continued.
Crispi believes that his youth and experience as well as his unique credentials and perspective may prove greatly beneficial for the citizens of the county. Crispi is a former collegiate athlete at Elon University and currently serves as a member of the Morris County Young Republican Executive Board while also working as the Regional Manager of Allstate Benefits. In his role at Allstate Benefits, Crispi consults with various businesses throughout the state and helps them construct the best risk management strategies in the wake of healthcare reform.
Candidate Heather Darling said “I am running for Morris County Freeholder because I care about Morris County.”
Right now there is unchecked spending, a practice of rewarding special interests and lack of sustainable ratables.
“I have lived in this county for 42 years. I went to school in Roxbury and graduated from Roxbury High School. I went to NYU and earned degrees in Finance and International Business and returned to the open space of Morris County. After a few years in the financial markets, I joined my father’s business and went to Seton Hall Law. I inherited my father’s real estate business but, I didn’t want to simply ride on his coattails so I founded my law firm in Morris County,” Darling said.
She continued “I didn’t use money from my father’s business to build my law firm because it was about the pride of doing it on my own – the hard way. I know about building a business on a shoestring budget, building relationships with customers, dealers and suppliers, and hiring and manage employees who count on their jobs to provide food and shelter for their families. Every day I analyze information and make critical decisions which affect my business, my employees and my client’s futures.”
“Large and small businesses have been leaving Morris County since the 80’s. We have become a county of residents without ratables or economic opportunities for young people. When I’m elected, I will utilize our numerous highways and railroads to attract business back to Morris County,” said Darling.
David Scapicchio, a former mayor of Mount Olive and one-term freeholder who lost his bid for re-election in 2015 but is widely endorsed for a new term by mayors around the county and most of the current Freeholders, told the crowd he helped reduce the county debt by millions when he was on the board. Known as a freeholder by the nickname “Pavin’ Dave,” Scapicchio, 62, said 30 miles of county roads were being repaved annually by the time he left office.
Nicolas W. Platt, 63, is currently the Mayor of the Township of Harding. He offered an overview of his public service as a three-term Harding committeeman who first got on the governing board to fill a vacancy. Platt said that Harding saves at least $300,000 annually through shared services that include a joint municipal court with Madison, Morris Township, Chatham and Chatham Township, and by eliminating its health office and contracting with Morris County for health department services.
Platt said he made a commitment more than four years ago to attend all Freeholder meetings, including the work sessions, and he regularly expresses his viewpoint on issues before the board. He currently is President of Hartley Dodge Foundation and Managing Partner of Hartley Farms Partners.
During Heather Darlings statements she said “While other similar facilities in the area are thriving, Morris View is not running profitably and the current Freeholder Board is looking into privatization. This should not be an option until every effort has been made to rein in spending and maximize income. Morris County is only one of nine counties in the nation posting average annual property taxes over $10,000. It is nonsense for us to have deteriorating infrastructure, poor road conditions, and cutbacks in human services needed by seniors and veterans.”
The deadline to change political affiliation passed on April 12 but residents have until May 16 to register to vote in this years primary. There are 137,511 registered but unaffiliated voters in the county; 122,350 Republicans, and 84,864 Democrats. The sole Democrat to file to run for freeholder is Rozella Clyde, Chatham, and is not opposed in the primary. She is part of the Morris County Democratic Committee.
Morris County Young Republicans will meet on Thursday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Portofino Family Restaurant, 5139 Berksire Valley Road, Oak Ridge. The candidates from Legislative Districts 2 and 26 will be available to answer questions. This event will be sponsored by Morris Township Mayor Bruce Sisler.
In Parsippany, James R. Barberio (R), Robert J. Peluso (R), Thomas C. Fulco, (D), and Michael Soriano (D) are seeking the office of the Mayor. Candidates for Township Council are Christopher R. Martino (R), Casey Parikh (R), Brian Stanton (R) Louis A. Valori (R), Vincent Ferrara (R), Katherine Cassidy (D), Janice McCarthy (D), and Emily Peterson (D).