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Atlantic County Freeholder Ashley Bennett. Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.

Bennett won’t rule out re-election bid

Freeholder launched bid for House seat

By Nikita Biryukov, December 20 2019 11:34 am

Atlantic County Freeholder Ashley Bennett declined to rule out running for re-election after launching a bid for the second congressional district’s House seat Friday.

“My freeholder seat is also up for election, and I have been talking with a number of people who wanted to run in 2020 anyway,” she said. “So, that seat is up. There is someone who is also running on the other side, so we will talk about who the person who will run for that seat in the general will be.”

She said she was “not yet” ready to rule out running for the county seat again in 2020.

Bennett is the third Democrat to announce a bid in the second district, which Republicans flipped on Thursday after Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) defected to the GOP.

Political science professor Brigid Harrison and West Cape May Commissioner John Francis III have launched campaigns in there, though Francis won’t formally announce his bid until January.

A fourth Democrat, Amy Kennedy, has launched a committee to explore a House bid in the second district.

Harrison came out as an early frontrunner after six of the district’s eight county chairs and Senate President Steve Sweeney endorsed her on Wednesday.

Atlantic County Chairman Michael Suleiman and Ocean County Chairman Wyatt Earp have yet to back a candidate.

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