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Sussex County Freeholder Election - 2019
Posted September 13, 2020 at 08:00pm by bill

By 2019 Freeholder George F.Graham had fallen out of favor with party leaders.In June 2018 his two allies on the Freeholder Board, Jonathan Rose, and Carl Lazzaro had lost re - election.Unlike most people who have served as Freeholder in Sussex, Graham did not leave kicking and screaming. Instead the former democrat peacefully declined to seek a third term. By February 2019 three candidates had entered the field; Incumbent Freeholder Sylvia Petillo, Frankford resident Peter Knipe, and Hopatcong School Board President Anthony Fasano. Fasano (24) had the backing of the county party and ran as a team for various high elected offices, with Petillo, Sussex County Favorite Son Parker Space, Hal Wirths a former Labor Commissioner and Freeholder in his own right, as well as popular Sheriff Mike Strada. Sussex Republicans where gearing up for a primary fight for county Freeholder for the 10th consecutive year. However on April 1 it was reported by the New Jersey Globe that Knipe'
s filing petitions had 13 invalid signatures thus kicking him off the ballot.Fasano and Petillo ran unopposed in the primary.For the seconed year in a row democrats failed to nominate anyone
for Freeholder.By September a Hardyston democrat named Kristy Lavin had formed a well prepared write - in campaign for Freeholder.She painted herself as a former Republican and as someone who would be readily equipped to handle the County 's crippling heroin epidemic as a mental health expert. Unlike 2018 and many years before that the counties newspaper, the New Jersey Herald, did not host a debate. So this year the only forum candidates attended was a small meet the candidates night at the Ogdensburg Firehouse. This event is held every year. It is well attended however the makeup is mostly political insiders and a political junkie or two such as myself. Lavin brought up points such as the county budget ciritzing Sylvia Petillo for cutting mental health services. Petillo slapped back by telling Lavin the reason why the county didn't actually do that.Instead of not responding(the smart political choice) Lavin admitted she was wrong in a room full of reporters and cameras.In other words she lost the argument.Anthony Fasano and Sylvia Petillo won in an expected landslide.There is still no official tabulation
for the amount of votes Kristy Lavin received but my tabulation has it at around 1, 000 votes.