Mark Washburne found out Tuesday night that he had lost his bid for Congress.
He was just about to pack up his political aspirations when he got something he wasn’t completely expecting — a bid to run in a different race he hadn’t even entered. Washburne received enough write-in votes Tuesday, in the same Democratic primary in which he actually ran, to win the party’s nomination for mayor in his hometown of Mendham Borough.
“It was just a nice little surprise,” Washburne said, adding that he is willing to accept the nomination.
However, it is not yet clear whether the longtime County College of Morris history professor, perhaps better known for his daily running streak dating to 1989, will be allowed onto the Nov. 6 ballot.
Mendham’s municipal attorney said Thursday he is researching election law and legal precedents and expects to make a recommendation to the municipal clerk on Friday.
“I really haven’t found an identical situation,” the attorney, Fred Semrau, said on Thursday.
So how did this happen?
About three weeks ago, when it was obvious that Mikie Sherrill was heading to a landslide Democratic primary win in the race to succeed departing U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-11th District, Washburne said the chair of the Mendham Democrats made him an offer.
No Democrats had filed to run for mayor in the primary, and Washburne was asked whether…