MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - A Turkish immigrant who came to America over two decades ago and started his career pumping gas in Madison, NJ, was elected to serve as a Morris County Freeholder today, when the Morris County Republican Committee convened for a special election.
The convention was called to elect a replacement to Heather Darling's previous term that was vacated when she was elected to Morris County Surrogate back in November of 2019.
The victory didn't come without drama. The day started off with five contestants, but soon went down to four when Christian Barranco withdrew his name for consideration during his acceptance speech after Jefferson businessman Jeff Orlando nominated him. He asked the members to cast their votes for Selen.
When the results where counted after the first round of voting, Selen fell just one vote short of winning the seat. The voting process and tally's were managed by Morris County Republican Committee Counsel Peter King.
Selen earned 192 votes while Meringolo received 97. Pequannock councilwoman Melissa Florance-Lynch finished in third with 70 votes, and former Morristown Councilwoman Allison Deeb placed fourth with 25 votes.
Since the by-laws of the Morris County Republican Committee state that a winner must receive 50% plus 1 vote, a run off was required. In the second election, Selen defeated Bruce Meringolo the former Long Hill committeeman 198 to 171.
“I’m ready to work hard for you, to win elections and grow this party. I am ready to work hard on outreach. I’m ready to be a unifying force,” Selen said. “I’m ready to continue to work hard to help win the election and re-elect our president.”
“This country gave me the opportunity to achieve my dreams,” he said. “And I learned, in America, you can achieve your dreams as long as you work hard and play by the rules.”