PATERSON, NJ - The city's lone representative on the Passaic County freeholder board is not seeking re-elected, but Paterson Board of Education President Theodore Best will be running in his place.
Greyson Hannigan, who has been on the board since 2008, also is the lone minority member.
"I think it's important to fill the vacancy with someone from Paterson, the county's largest city,'' said Best, in an interview Wednesday afternoon, "and I think it's important to have diversity on the board.''
Best had worked as a legislative aide for Rep. Bill Pascrell and Assemblywoman Elease Evans before he was elected to the Paterson Board of Education for three years. Now 29, Best said he was the youngest person ever elected to the city school board.
Best, who has worked for the New jersey Community Development Corporation for the past three years, decided not to run for re-election to the school board this year, partly because he is founding a new city charter school geared towards honor students. The school board was a volunteer position, while freeholders are part-time county employees and paid $29,000.
At present, Democrats control the freeholder board by a 4-3 margin. Butu the two seats up for election are held by Democrats - Hanngan and Bruce James, who will be one the Democratic ticket with Best. Republicans, meanwhile, are facing a primary contest, according to northjersey.com.
Best said his candidacy for freeholder came together "very suddenly" and was not planned when he chose to step down from the Board of Education.
Hannigan cited family reasons for his decision.
“These are the most important years in the growth and development of my two young sons, and not seeking re-election gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my wife and young children. Professionally, it will afford me the time to focus on being a full time attorney," Hannigan said in a letter to Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie.
“This was not any easy decision, and I wish my colleagues all the best as I transition away from elected office."