Nordstrom: It's Time to Move On

Former freeholder says she won't pursue court case or run for re-election.

After being ordered by an appellate court to vacate her seat on the Morris County Board of Freeholders in a decision after being voted in by the electorate in November, Margaret Nordstrom will not pursue the seat or appeal the ruling.

“This is the end of one road for me,” Nordstrom said. “I’m not going to pursue the court case or take part in the (Morris County Republican Committee) convention. I've decided it’s time to move on.”

Nordstrom, the incumbent heading into the 2011 Republican Primary election against William “Hank” Lyon of Montville, originally lost that election by just six votes.

But the former mayor of Washington Township, seeking her fifth consecutive term on the board, appealed the decision, citing voter fraud and illegal donations to the Lyon camp.

In September, Superior Court Judge Thomas Weisenbeck ruled that the county committee would hold a vote to decide the winner of the primary, who would then face Democrat Truscha Quatrone in the general election.

Nordstrom was voted in by members of the committee by a plurality of 213 to 208.

But on Feb. 7, an appellate court decided that the ruling was not under Weisenbeck’s authority, and ordered Nordstrom to vacate her seat on the board.

“I was pretty surprised,” Nordstrom said. “I don’t think any of us were anticipating that. But this is a serendipitous business, and we know that.”

Per procedure, the Morris County Republican Committee will hold a convention in the coming weeks and vote on a contestant to fill the now vacant seat. Lyon, who will be vying for votes at the convention, will not have to worry about facing Nordstrom.

Republicans from the county have begun to throw their hats into the primary ring for what will be three seats up for grabs in June.

Nordstrom says she doesn’t have a horse in the race, and, as of now, won’t be endorsing anyone.

“I’ll be looking on from the sidelines,” she said. “I’m just going to stay separated for now.”

Nordstrom did not disclose what her future path will be, or whether or not it will be in the political arena, but made it clear her time as a Morris County Freeholder was officially over.

RGJ February 17, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Margaret is a class act, a great rarity among politicians nowdays. I believe she challenged this primary result on principle, due to its outrageous improprieties, particularly outright fraud in Parsippany with Vote By Mail, although it had nothing to do with either Freeholder camp. In Washington Township, Margaret was chosen by her peers as mayor six years in a row, which I believe is a record, in the live ball era, anyway. At the county level she was chosen as freeholder director by her freeholder peers for multiple years as well. That speaks to the standing she has among those who best see her work and dedication. I am proud that she is going out having not let stand the primary debacle of June 2011. The actions of the various parties and the legal and ELEC issues are brought to the light of day in now, and I think that over time the Vote By Mail system, ELEC, donation law and campaign filing requirements will all be strengthened and clarified for the better because the 2011 primary wasn't swept under the rug.
joe raich February 18, 2012 at 01:45 AM
The Stig February 18, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Yes, give her a seat in the front row when they swear in Hank Lyon.
Eileen Stokes February 18, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Well said, RGJ.
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