Rest in Peace, Doug Romaine

Doug Romaine, the last Democrat elected to the Morris County Freeholder board, has died.

The county’s Democratic Committee issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened today at the loss of Doug Romaine, one of our great ones and a longtime supporter of the Morris County Democratic Party. Doug holds a spot in history, as the only Democrat ever elected to the County Board (when they were still called Freeholders) in 1973, serving for one term. He was a local activist and served as the Rockaway Municipal Chair and ran for local Council several times, getting closest in 2017. Doug mentored and supported many, and helped pave the way for current Council members Jonathan Sackett and Manny Friedlander to win their seats. Doug was welcoming and warm to newcomers in county politics, sharing stories and offering advice. He stayed outspoken and involved, nearly to the end. We will miss him deeply and send our condolences to family and friends who are grieving his loss.”

Romaine, 80, was honored on his birthday last fall at a dual-purpose event.

Dems gathered in Rockaway to celebrate his birthday and also to raise money for last year’s “freeholder,” or now commission, candidates.

The birthday celebration was a success, but winning a commission seat continued to elude Morris County Democrats.

It’s been often remarked that Romaine’s win in 1973 came during the Watergate scandal – which was a very good era for Democrats.

Romaine acknowledged that over the years, but also said he was helped by a big increase in county taxes.

Whatever the reason, his success was unsustainable.

Romaine lost reelection in 1976, establishing his status as the only Democrat to serve on the Morris County board.

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One response to “Rest in Peace, Doug Romaine”

  1. I have known Doug for over 50 year and remember the night of his victory, He is from a generation of dedicated activists that are fading but was active almost to the end.

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