On Friday night, Maurice County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo lost the line of the Maurice County Republican Organization, jeopardizing his chances of re-election for a fifth term. Instead, the organizational line went to nine-term commissioner Doug Boar, former commissioner Christine Myers and member of the Mendem city committee and former mayor Sarah Neybart.
Boar took first place with 390 votes, followed by Myers (386) and Neibart (336). Mastrangela took fourth place with 261 votes, and Pecuanco Mayor Melissa Florence-Lynch received 233 votes.
This is a political comeback for Myers, who left the board in 2018 to work in the Trump administration’s Small Business Administration.
Mastrangelo did not say whether he would run away from the line, and it is unclear whether Florence Lynch will remain in the race.
It is also the second upset of the congress since Maurice’s Republicans moved from open primary elections to the organizational line in 2021. Last year, assembly member Betty Lou DeCrock (R-Parsippany) lost the convention – and eventually – the primary – to rival Christian Baranka.
When incumbent County Commissioner Katie DePhilipa announced retirement earlier this year she, Boar, Mastrangela soon threw their support for Florence Lynch, as well as a large number of Morris County mayors.
But Neibart received approval of the three other commissioners – John Crickus, Deborah Smith and Stephen Shaw – declaring themselves as the obvious contenders for the nomination.
This was Florence Lynch’s second application for county commissioner. She ran in a special election convention in February 2021 after Heather Darling resigned to become a surrogate for Maurice County, but finished third with 18% of the vote in a race of four candidates won by Typhoon Selenium.
Maurice County Sheriff Jim Gennan will also be re-elected this year, but he is not facing intra-party opposition.
Although Democrats in Maurice County have seen increasing success in recent years, with both President Joe Biden and Senator Corey Booker leading the county in 2020, that success has not yet been fully translated into a vote. Democrats have failed to change any of Morris County offices in the Trump era, and they are unlikely to break that line now that Biden is president and the political environment is conducive to Republicans.
Democrats have not won the election in Morris County since 1973.