Three’s the charm

Two years ago, Ellen Steinberg was living in Chatham and making her second bid for the state legislature; this week she won election to the Millburn Township Committee as part of the first Democratic majority in town history. Steinberg lost a 2001 State Senate bid against Richard Bagger, and in 2003, she ran off the line and won the Democratic primary for State Assembly; she lost to incumbents John Bramnick and Eric Munoz. Democrat Linda Lordi Cavanaugh will begin her third stint on the Essex County Board of Freeholders in January, after defeating incumbent Muriel Shore for the District IV seat. Democrats now have a 9-0 majority on the Freeholder Board, winning a seat that the Republicans have held since 1981. Essex began electing district Freeholders in 1978, after a change in the form of government, and the West Essex seat was won by one of the leaders of the ’77 Charter Change movement, Democrat Renee Lane, who defeated Orange Mayor Carmine Capone. Lane lost in 1981 to Republican Monroe Lustbader, who held the seat until his election to the State Assembly in 1991 (he defeated Neil Cohen). Lustbader’s replacement was the Mayor of Verona, Democrat-turned-Republican James Treffinger, who served until his election as County Executive in 1994. Treffinger was replaced by Verona Councilman Nicholas Rolli, who won a 1995 Special Election and a second term in 1996; when Rolli retired in 1999, he was replaced by another Verona Councilman, Republican James Paganelli, who won in 1999 and again in 2002. Paganelli resigned in 2003 to take a county job and was replaced by Shore, who held the seat in a Special Election.

Three’s the charm