The surprising winner of the hotly contested Republican primary in Hunterdon County for sheriff was Deborah Trout, a 16 year veteran of the Hunterdon County sheriff’s office, and one of four former officers who sued soon-to-be-former Sheriff Bill Doyle for harassment. How did she win? Who’s support did she have?
Well, let’s see:
Buzz Howell had the endorsement of current sheriff Doyle.
Tony Critelli, another former sheriff’s officer who sued for harassment, had the party line next to winners Lance-Karrow-Doherty.
George Muller, the freeholder who gave up his safe freeholder seat to build up his pension years in the state system, had the first line on the ballot,-- not a bad place to be. He lost by a handful of votes.
What spot did Trout have? Next to last, below everyone else but Howell. That’s where County Clerk Melfi placed her on the ballot. Even Trout was surprised at that. She told the Hunterdon County Democrat newspaper that she did not know that the County Clerk was going set up the ballot reflecting who filed their petitions first. Had she known that, she said, she would have filed earlier.
Dolye said some pretty nasty things about both Critelli and Trout, in his endorsement of Howell.
So, who’s support did she have? The support of the people. Shows you what good campaigning will do.
However, she will face a tough campaign in the fall against Bruce Cocuzza, the current Police Director in Lambertville and former NYC Police Captain. His background will be very formidable to run against for Trout.