The County Apparently has Strict Rules Against Strictland

MORRISTOWN – Justin Strickland told fellow Morris County Democrats Thursday evening that two of the Republican commissioners he’s running against – John Krickus and Stephen Shaw – recently came to Chatham for the opening of a trail.

Strickland, who sits on the Chatham council, said it was a very amiable visit.

Then, he saw the county’s press release about the event. He said the borough’s Democratic mayor was mentioned as taking part in the event, but not him.


Press releases are not designed to be documentaries. So, no mention of Strickland could mean nothing at all.

Then again …

On this night, surrounded by dozens of supporters at the Jockey Hollow restaurant, Strickland offered his assessment as to why his name was omitted:

“They’re really nervous about us. They think we have a real shot at winning.”


Strickland was speaking at the official campaign kickoff for the three Dems seeking county commission seats this fall.

The party’s other candidates are Jonathan Sackett and Bud Ravitz.

Besides the aforementioned Krickus and Shaw, the other GOP incumbent is Deborah Smith.

Campaign kickoffs are designed to rouse the crowd and this one was no exception.

Sackett said this is the year, Democrats come out of the wilderness – so to speak – and win a county commission seat. They should do it, he said, for the late Doug Romaine, the last Dem to serve on the board. Romaine, who died this week, was elected in 1973 and served one term.

Ravitz criticized the board for moving ahead with plans to build a new courthouse without hearing from “stakeholders.”

The trio of candidates announced a “listening tour,” a series of public events aimed at hearing resident concerns. They begin July 13 at the Chester Library from 10:15 a.m. to noon.

This brings us to the most difficult part of running for countywide office. Many people know little about county government, which tends to be obscure. What’s more, there ain’t much wrong with Morris County, one of the more affluent places in the state.

This presents quite the challenge for the Democrats To that end, there was talk of a “blue trend” in Morris County, as if the Dems winning a commission seat was a question of when more than if.

It is true that the Democrats have made inroads in what had been a solid GOP county. Towns like Chatham Borough and Morris Township, for example, are totally controlled by the Dems. And Rep. Mikie Sherrill has carried Morris all three times she has run.

Political change happens over time, but it needs to start somewhere.

Strickland had that in mind when he said a Democratic win this year in the commission race can “start the wave” of a Democratic takeover of county government.

As noted, campaign kickoffs are for energizing the troops. And also for dreaming.






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