As you all know by now, my name is Heather Darling and I am running to be your next Morris County Surrogate. I am well aware of the duties and scope of the job of the Surrogate and I know that I have what it takes to bring the Surrogate’s office to a new level by increasing the accessibly and awareness of the Office. 
 
My opponent continues to tout his legal experience drafting wills and trusts and seems to think that this is all the Surrogate’s Office does. He has forgotten that being an attorney is not a requirement and that the Surrogate for the last 25 years was not an attorney and has done a fine job running the office. He has also forgotten that I am an attorney and I have handled extremely complex estates and trust matters before the Surrogate’s Court.  
 
The most important thing that my opponent has forgotten is the human factor. While his nose was in tax returns and wills for the last twenty years, I was dealing with people…often on the worst days of their lives. I have been working with people in grief, people who are confused and people who are concerned for their future. I have learned to work with them in a productive, comforting way. I have been out in the community serving people and volunteering in various capacities my whole life. Helping people has always been my mission. My opponent sadly minimizes the role of the Surrogate to administrative duties such as Will drafting, which is very different from the job of the Surrogate.  
 

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While he posts about his huge extended family vacations on his campaign page, I post about my own grief, losing my mother at the age of five and having a father who was a senior citizen when I was only 10 years old. Being an only child, I spent a lot of time with my father seeing people trying to take advantage of him merely because of his age. I am the product of my experiences, in my personal life and my career and that is what brought me to run for this office. Although, not within the specified duties of this job, I plan to make educating seniors, special needs citizens and their families about scams a part of my outreach in information sessions about the services we provide, along with the need for planning ahead, adoption as an option and other matters both germane to and stemming from the office. 
 
I am sure that my opponent can write a will or prepare a tax return just fine as a competent attorney, however he seems to have no plan to improve the services or accessible of the office. Meanwhile, I 
have a clear plan outlined on my website, Facebook page and campaign literature of the improvements I will institute: 
 Outreach to seniors, special needs citizens and their families with regard to guardianship services.  Employ varied hours or online services for ease of access.  Provide information to those inheriting assets on how to identify and avoid predators who may target them.  Promote awareness of Surrogate’s Office services throughout the County. 
Not only do I have the legal experience and the human factor, I also have a clearly laid plan for the office. I am confident that voters will see the whole picture. Vote Experience. Vote Compassion. Vote for a Plan. Vote Heather Darling for Surrogate November 5.