Sheriffs in New Jersey tend to be popular. The name alone conjures up a romanticized image of a Wyatt Earp-like figure protecting his community from all types of evil.
Things are not the same in 2019 New Jersey, but sheriffs, generally speaking, still enjoy the widespread political acclaim that enables them to stay around for awhile. Just look at Morris County, where Jim Gannon is only the fourth man to wear the sheriff’s badge in the last 70 years.
“The job is great,” Gannon said Monday at an event at the Netcong train station. So, it’s hardly an upset that Gannon plans to run again this year for what would be his second, three-year term. A formal campaign kickoff is upcoming, but Gannon is already running – or maybe, he never stopped,
He had five events on Sunday, including a breakfast in Mine Hill, a radio appearance on local station WMTR and a 90th birthday celebration for the owner of the iconic Reservoir Tavern in Parsippany.
For most of those aforementioned seven decades, the only political problem for sheriffs came from within. It was back in 1992 when then-Sheriff John M. Fox, who began many of the programs still in place today, was defeated in the GOP primary by Ed Rochford, who stayed around for 24 years before retiring. Rochford’s only viable challenge over the years came in the 2010 primary from Steve Olimpio, a Paterson police officer living in Kinnelon.
Democrats were never a factor in the race