Orange Council President Ed Marable, Jr., is crossing party lines to endorse the Republican candidate for register, Terriann Moore-Abrams, who's on the ballot with GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie.
"She's everything I would want in a register," said the council president, a supporter of Gov. Jon Corzine and other Democrats on the ballot this year. "The register oversees deeds and mortgage records, and isone of the biggest sources of fees in the county.Terriann is the ideal person to do that job."
Moore-Abrams was a good Democrat who toiled dutifully for the party, she says, and worked hard in her job as one of Essex County's chief attorneys.
When Essex County register Carole Graves said she wasn'tseeking another five-year term forthe $91,650-a-year position, Moore-Abrams, a former assistant prosecutor and county counsel, put in for the job.
But "they wouldn't even consider me," she said of the party apparatus."Women are the majority of the electorate in Essex, and yet all five of the statutory officeswill be filled bymales."
She changed parties to run against Newark Central WardChairman Dwight Brown, whose death this summer created an opening fora register's candidate, whichEssex County Democratic Chairman Phil Thigpen promptly filled – with himself.
"I just don't know what qualifies him for that job other than party loyalty, and that shouldn't be the qualifier," said Marable, who two years ago ran unsuccessfullyas an independent Democrat for a 27th Legislative District seat against Assemblyman John McKeon (West Orange) and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-South Orange), a duo he now supports.
He lost as an independent Democrat. The fact that Moore-Abrams is running as a late entry Republican "doesn't get you much in Essex County, I realize that," said Marable, "but I think she's the best candidate."
Marable donated $100 to the campaign and wants to walk with Moore-Abrams.
"As much asI get my message out, people don't even know whatthe register is," said the GOP underdog. "When they learn it's the number one revenue-generating office in Essex County, they recognize the need toput someone in who's capable of running that office. I'm the only candidate, by the way, whohas a platform."
Moore-Abrams wants first to aim at efficiency, but ultimately said she would work, if elected, to merge the register's office with the county clerk's office, a cost-savings measure effected in Bergen County by Clerk Kathe Donovan.
"The voters will decide on Election Day," said Thigpen.