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After Long Battle, Lyon Is Freeholder

Montville political newcomer is sworn in Saturday after winning the party convention's support.

Political newcomer William “Hank” Lyon was sworn in as a Republican Morris County freeholder Saturday after winning a court-ordered special convention.

Lyon will serve in this seat until the end of the year.

An election will be held in November to fill remainder of the 3-year term. Also up for grabs in that general election ballot are three freeholder seats now held by incumbents Gene Feyl, Bill Chegwidden and John Murphy.

Former freeholder Jack Schrier welcomed Lyon. 

"We wish him the very best, especially as the Freeholder Board is now in a state of major reorganization, with even more to come in June," Schrier said.

Saturday’s convention was ordered by a state appeals court in February when it removed incumbent Margaret Nordstrom from office.

The appeals court undid incumbent Margaret Nordstrom's 2011 primary race win—itself the end-result of a lengthy process that involved multiple recounts, a multifaceted legal challenge, and an earlier court-ordered GOP convention to pick a nominee. The court said, though, while it could remove Nordstrom from office, it could not pick a winner of the primary.

This weekend, Lyon, 24, of Montville defeated Edward France of Morristown 265 to 40 votes. Madison Councilman Charles Germanhausen, who had filed notice that he would run in the special convention, withdrew Friday night. Lyon had been Nordstrom's opponent in the 2011 primary.

Nordstrom, following her removal from office, said that she would not run in the new special convention, nor put her name up for nomination for the remainder of the seat in the June primary.

Following the vote, Lyon was sworn into office by Morris County Clerk Joan Bramhall in the lobby of the Zeris Inn, where the convention was held.

His first freeholder meeting is Wednesday.

Lyons said he was grateful for the voters' support. He said he will focus on the debt that government’s have incurred.

“When I was campaigning, I spoke about government debt,” he said. “Governments have a lot of debt. “

Lyon said that when he told a voter he was concerned the country’s debt would force many changes in 20 years, the voter corrected him.

“He said the changes would come in five years,” Lyon said.

While Lyon has been seated, challenges to the appeals court ruling are pending, including one by Democrat Truscha Quatrone, the Democratic Party candidate defeated last November by Nordstrom. Quatrone has claimed that since Nordstrom’s election was invalidated by the appeals court, she was the only legitimate freeholder candidate on the November ballot.

Lyon also asked the court to consider whether, since it invalidated Nordstrom’s election, it should declare him the winner of the full 4-year seat.

Rulings are expected soon.

Also hanging over the election is the charge made by Nordstrom in her lawsuit following her 2011 primary defeat, a claim that Lyon was the recipient of an illegal $16,000 campaign donation made by his father Robert Lyon just days before the primary vote.

That donation was not reported to the Election Law Enforcement Commission until after the vote.

Nordstrom claimed in her suit that the donation exceeded the limits for a personal contribution, and that because it was not reported as required by law, it had a negative impact on her candidacy. Because previous election finance filings showed that Lyon little cash on hand, Nordstrom said, she canceled a last minute mailing.

ELEC has not issued a ruling on the issue.

Robert Lawrence March 11, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Candidate Hank Lyon was conservative in theory, and now we'll all see right away whether Freeholder Hank Lyon is conservative in fact. Will one of Freeholder Lyon's first acts be to vote YES on a Morris County Budget that RAISES TAXES on County taxpayers?
Richard Dean March 11, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I am glad to see this because Hank Lyon up until this point has been an outsider. I had his sign on my lawn in Butler.
1819 March 11, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Did that lawn sign say in little print at the bottom "Paid For By DADDY"? I'll vote for anybody who runs against this kid, as long as they have actually worked for a living and paid taxes.
VietNam Vet March 12, 2012 at 04:57 AM
From what I hear he comes from a pretty decent family, we have to hope he will do the right thing or he won't get re-elected in Nov. Hopefully he will jump on this Turf war in Parsippany.
Alex March 12, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Tea Party nutjob...
VietNam Vet March 12, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Well Alex, you must be one of those far left winged nut jobs that like to do all the spending. If you like having other people decide where and when to spend you money, then send it to me and I'll be glad to spend your money for you, if you have that much!!!!!!!
1819 March 12, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I don't know why the Repubs would nominate someone with *extremely* serious ELEC charges hanging over his head. Surely someone in Morris County is going to file the simple one page form to have ELEC look at the charges the Superior Court found he had violated. The Appellate Court merely said it was up to ELEC to try the charges. All the evidence (actually, the admissions) is already on the record from when the Superior Court said Lyon was guilty. Surely, someone will. The form is right here: http://www.elec.state.nj.us/pdffiles/forms/legal_resources/form_ri1.pdf I mean, just takes a minute. I'm sure somebody will follow the simple link: http://www.elec.state.nj.us/pdffiles/forms/legal_resources/form_ri1.pdf You'd think.
Domino March 12, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I'm sure Margaret Nordstrom already has...twice at least.
Dan Grant March 12, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Judges held in contempt of elections. First a Judge rules that the winner of the Republican Party primary is not really the winner and throws out the election and leaves it to the Republican Party to place a name on the ballot for the General Election. The Republican Party choses the loser of the primary as their Candidate for the General at a Republican Convention. The General Election is won by that person but the Loser(really the winner) of the Republican Party primary appealed the first Judges ruling and the Appeals Court ruled that the Republican Winner (really Loser) was not a valid candidate and vacates her seat. The Appeals Court leaves the Republican Party that placed an invalid person on the ballot in charge of replacing that person at another Convention and the Republican Convention choses the person whose right to run in the General was denied by the first Judge and was never on the General Election Ballot. Mean while the only valid winner of the General Election, Democrat Truscha Quatrone, is totally ignored by the Courts as are the 20,000 plus people whose valid vote for a valid candidate. Is this clear to any normal person?
DidUReallyJustSayThat March 12, 2012 at 09:47 PM
You are starting to sound like a conservative. Welcome to the club.
Maxim Sapozhnikov March 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM
The mess created by one corrupt judge doesn't entitle Ms. Quatrone to the status of "winner". A ham sandwich could run on R-ticket against her and win by a landslide.
Thomas Lotito March 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Dan, 'an invalid person on the ballot '? and who was that? If you have ever wondered why your arguments are not taken seriously, statements like this are the reason. Even the Democrat judges know that a Democrat cannot win a freeholder seat in Morris County. Along with Tom Wyka, Quatrone is wasting her time running again, she's better off staying home and saving her money.
Greg Lynch March 13, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Dan knows his side is wrong. Democrats will do or say anything to win. Somehow the seat Mosquera won, but was subsequently invalidated from, should be decided by the committee of the winning party - but this seat should go to the person who got the 2nd most votes? Dan, I'm sure the NJ GOP would gladly trade you a Freeholder seat in Morris County for an Assembly seat in the 4th district. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Dan Grant March 13, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Thomas, I know you would prefer not to even have elections and just have the Republican Party Elite just appoint people but the fact is that there was just one person on the ballot with the right to be there. That was Truscha Quatrone. Her running against a legal Republican is of no importance because there wasn't on on the ballot. Both the first judge and the Appeals Court have screwed this up. Judges are generally picked in dark back rooms so far back that only a handful of people know why they are there and if they have a legal skills at all. It is all political on both sides but it doesn't make them the ultimate arbitrators of wisdom. It just makes them Judges.
Dan Grant March 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Don't talk to me about the actions of a completely corrupt State Democratic Organization. I say that as a 40 year Democratic Activist. I don't care about what deals were struck or who got what support in that action. It was a rigged game but the issues are different here in Morris County. There the issues were time in the district not a completely invalid candidate that the Republican Party had placed on the ballot while an appeal was pending. Now they are rewarded with a second "do over"?
Maxim Sapozhnikov March 13, 2012 at 02:49 PM
>> Judges are generally picked in dark back rooms so far back that only >> a handful of people know why they are there and if they have a legal >> skills at all. It is all political on both sides but it doesn't make them the >> ultimate arbitrators of wisdom. It just makes them Judges. Dan, you're so right here. Care to apply same to the black-robed potheads who rammed Abbott up our collective behind?
DidUReallyJustSayThat March 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Hire some expensive lawyers and begin the court proceedings. Nothing we like better than seeing Dems throw good money after bad. This case is a slam-dunk win for the Republicans.
Maxim Sapozhnikov March 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM
>> DidUReallyJustSayThat: Hire some expensive lawyers and begin >> the court proceedings. Nothing we like better than seeing Dems >> throw good money after bad. This case is a slam-dunk win for >> the Republicans. You may think it is a joke but that's the Dems' SOP. They will hire a liberal legal firm on pro bono basis who will write the overblown bill off their massive taxable base. As a result, both the party and the legal firm benefit and the taxpayers eats the expenses.
DidUReallyJustSayThat March 13, 2012 at 04:10 PM
If they're doing the work pro bono, then they aren't getting paid, just wasting their time. The county may have to spend a few $$, but they can reference the South Jersey case which is 100% on point. They might even be able to sue for having to fight a frivolous lawsuit. Either way, Bring It ON.
Maxim Sapozhnikov March 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM
DidUReallyJustSayThat, the lawyers wouldn't be paid but pro bono work can be written off taxable base, which means the firm gets to pay less taxes and the treasury is getting the shaft. It may be thrown out by a GOP-friendly judge, true, but it takes a lot more abuse of common sense to get a frivolous-lawsuit slapdown.
Thomas Lotito March 13, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Dan - what about intellectual honesty? Margret was the legal candidate the time of the Nov. election. Can you comprehend that? And as a whole, Quatrone will lose in the general because of her hard core liberal views. Can you comprehend that too? The only thing that is 'screwed up,' as you put it, is your constant, annoying persistence that Quatrone should be seated. Bottom line the judge did not give the election to Quatrone....see ya!
Dan Grant March 13, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Thomas, LOL, If she was a legal candidate she would still be sitting on the Freeholder Board. Talk about intellectual honesty you act as if she wasn't removed for cause.
Dan Grant March 13, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Greg Lynch, You are one funny guy. "My side?" My side nominated a legal candidate and your side had a choice between an invalid candidate and one with major campaign financing violations. You guys really do live in a bubble don't you.
Thomas Lotito March 13, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Dan - its' all about reading comprehension, hear's a clue, "at the time of the election," how embarrassing for you....get with it.
Dan Grant March 13, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Thomas I agree it is about comprehension and what part of her removal because she was NOT a valid candidate don't you understand. You live in the Bubble where your side is never wrong and facts float away with the change of air in the Bubble. Mrs Nordstrum was removed because she wasn't legitimately on the ballot in the first place. What voters believed at the time doesn't matter otherwise the Court would have left her in place.
DidUReallyJustSayThat March 13, 2012 at 09:35 PM
The Republican Party followed the rules imposed by the initial judge, so Nordstrom WAS legitimately placed on the ballot. The Appeals Court overruled the first judge, removed her from office and told the party to select someone to fill the job. She could have asked to be considered, but decided it was time to move on. This is 100% a judiciary problem. The Republican Party followed the law every step of the way. Hard to understand why someone with your supposed brilliance is having such a difficult time comprehending the facts and just MovingOn.
Thomas Lotito March 13, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Dan Grant, ....The opposite of intellect is dullness or slowness, but the opposite of wisdom is foolishness, which is far more dangerous.~Thomas Sowell~
Dan Grant March 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM
What was foolish was not placing Lyon on the ballot after the first Judge ruled the primary invalid. He never prohibited the County Committee from naming Lyon to the Ballot and there would have been no issue. That was a judgement call and a bad one by the Republican County Committee. The fact that Truscha can't get support from the State Democratic Party or the Morris County Democratic Party has nothing to do with the fact that she has been cheated by the Courts but she does have legal representation as I understand it and her portion of the case has yet to be heard if in fact it ever will be. You attitude that there is only one side to this case is disturbing. and simply about your arrogance.

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