ROXBURY, NJ - Saying it "kills" her to see older residents being mistreated, Morris County Freeholder Heather Darling on Saturday announced a candidacy to become the county Surrogate.

The Surrugate, a 5-year-long elected position, administers wills, estates, guardianships and trusts for Morris County residents. He or she also serves as clerk of the Superior Court, assists with activities ranging from adoptions to incompetency matters and serves as custodian of a $25 million trust fund for minors.

The job is currently held by John Pecoraro, of Mendham, who is retiring.

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Darling, a Succasunna lawyer and a Republican, became a county freeholder in January 2018. Another member of the GOP, state Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, has expressed interest in running for the position.

Darling said she believes her background as a lawyer and business owner, along with her personal experience, make her ideally suited for the Surrogate role.

"Each and every day the media is replete with stories of seniors being scammed and it kills me when I hear about our seniors being taken advantage of," she said in a statement. "I grew up with only one parent and he was a senior by the time I was 10 years old. I saw people try over and over to take advantage of him for no reason other than his age."