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Somers Point Councilman James Toto

Toto will run for Atlantic freeholder

Somers Point councilman wants to take on Fitzpatrick

By David Wildstein, December 02 2019 10:18 am

Somers Point Councilman James Toto will seek the Republican nomination for Atlantic County Freeholder-at-Large next year.

He wants to challenge Democrat Caren Fitzpatrick, who captured a freeholder seat in 2017 by 1,359 votes against Republican Tony DiPietro.

“I won’t sit by while obstructionist, radical Democrats like Caren Fitzpatrick spend our time and our public dollars, doing everything they can to block progress here in Atlantic County,” Toto said. “Over the past three years we have had a Freeholder who has no record of accomplishment in office.”

Republicans have a 6-3 majority on the freeholder board.  Democrats will be defending two seats, with Freeholder Ashley Bennett up for re-election in District 3.  She upset incumbent John Carman in 2017 after the GOP freeholder was caught making sexist remarks.

GOP Freeholder John Risley, who narrowly lost a bid for State Assembly this year, has not announced if he will seek re-election to the freeholder seta he has held on and off since 2011.  Risley has held local office in three Atlantic County municipalities.

Democrats have not said who will run with Fitzpatrick.

This is Toto’s third bid for higher office in three years.

The former U.S. Army officer and Air Marshal briefly sought the Republican nomination for Congress in 2018 – he won the organization line in Salem County but dropped his bid to replace Frank LoBiondo in the 2nd district.  Earlier this year, he sought GOP organization support for State Assembly but withdrew when Atlantic County Republicans picked Risley and Phil Guenther as their candidates.

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