Dear Editor: Freeholder Darling statement on election to Surrogate


Dear Editor:

“I extend my thanks to the people of Morris County for electing me to the office of Surrogate. Over the last few months they heard from both sides of the aisle, and I am honored that the ideas and positions I offered resonated with the voters yesterday. I would like to thank my field director, supporters, volunteers, and staff; their work helped to move the campaign forward daily and we would not be here today without them.

My opponent Michael Thompson ran a good race, and I wish him the best. While I cannot say that I am unhappy the voters did not choose him, I do want to commend him for standing up and running in the first place.

The Surrogate’s office is not a political office – but it is an important one. Every life will eventually come before the Surrogate’s court at least once. Whether it is a family dealing with the passing of a loved one, a child with special needs becoming an adult or in a moment of crisis when a family member suddenly needs a guardianship due to reasons like dementia, stroke, and accident related injury.  My promise to you on this campaign was that I would guide families through those moments but also educate them on the benefits of planning ahead, and over the course of the next five years you will see just that.

Right now people simply don’t know about the Surrogate’s office, or what it does. We are going to change that. We are going to make it a well-known resource through outreach and education. We are going to make sure that people can find affordable legal representation and make the process very much accessible online for those who cannot easily visit the office in person due to significant physical limitations.

Finally, unscrupulous people so often prey on senior citizens and probate is a very public process that inspires such activity.  I am proud that the people of Morris County have put me in a position where I am able to educate and help people defend themselves.

Thank you,
Heather Darling