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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.

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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