MORRISTOWN – After a week of swearing-in ceremonies, Morris County Democrats are riding a wave of excitement, energy and positive momentum into 2024!
In Chatham Borough, where Democrats ran unopposed, Carolyn Dempsey is the first Democratic woman mayor! The borough is now led by women, with Councilwoman Jocelyn Mathieson selected as the new Council President. New Council members: Brian Hargrove, Katherine Hay and Justin Strickland were sworn in on Monday.
Next door in Chatham Township, Democrats regained control, by a 4-1 majority! New Mayor Stacey Ewald, Deputy Mayor Mike Choi, and new council members Marty McHugh and Jennifer Rowland, were all sworn in by Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill.
In Western Morris, history was made in Mendham Township! Morris County Chair Amalia Duarte, the first Democrat ever elected in the township back in 2017, was sworn into a historic third term! And, Committeewoman Lauren Spirig, elected in 2022, has become the first Democratic Deputy Mayor in Mendham Township’s history!
What a difference a year makes! This time last year, then-Committeewoman Spirig, who won by 3 votes, was in the middle of a nasty election contest. The losing Republican candidate was fighting to remove Spirig, claiming young Mendham Township residents had illegally cast votes by mail. The case went to court last February. After a half day of dubious “eyewitness” testimony, it was abruptly voluntarily dismissed by the Republicans themselves.
In Parsippany, despite a similarly close race, it was a smooth transition. Third time’s the charm for Judy Hernandez. She was elected to council by a margin of 8 votes, and her opponent graciously conceded. Councilwoman Hernandez was installed in a celebratory ceremony, alongside the two new Republican council members.
Another historic moment took place on the all-Democrat Morris Township Committee! Donna Guariglia was selected by the Township Committee as only the second Democratic woman Mayor in history. Jeff Grayzel was picked for Deputy Mayor, and newly elected member Siva Jonnada was sworn in with re-elected Committeeman Bud Ravitz.
Finally, Madison Mayor Bob Conley, who also ran unopposed, was sworn into his fourth term by Lt. Gov. Tahesha Way, as were his running mates, John Forte and Bob Landrigan.
In Dover, Mayor James Dodd was sworn-in and then did the honors for council members: Sergio Rodriguez, Arturo Santana, Michael Scarneo and Claudia Toro.
In nearby Boonton, Jake Hettrich, was sworn in to serve as the Ward 2 Councilman.
In Victory Gardens, re-elected Council Members Stuart Hale and Ismael Lorenzo, Sr., were sworn in to serve new terms.
Finally, the three new Morristown Council members proudly took their oaths of office: Tina Lindsey, Steve Pylypchuk and Chris Russo. Afterward, Morristown Councilman Nathan Umbriac was selected as the new Council President and David Silva as Vice President.
It was a fantastic week for Morris County Democrats! We are looking forward to continuing winning elections and making inroads in a county that is rapidly changing.