Home>Campaigns>Atkins ‘not concerned’ about Holley-led challenge in Roselle

Assemblyman Reginald Atkins at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Atkins ‘not concerned’ about Holley-led challenge in Roselle

Holley, running for mayor, seems to have recruited legislative slate in LD20

By Joey Fox, March 31 2023 10:28 am

Assemblyman Reginald Atkins (D-Roselle), the Democratic municipal chairman in Roselle and its dutiful representative in the state legislature, said yesterday that he’s feeling good about the party organization’s chances against Jamel Holley, a former assemblyman who’s running off-the-line for mayor this year.

“I’m not concerned, because everyone in Roselle that I speak to wants everything to move forward; we don’t want to go backward,” Atkins said, referencing the lack of tax increases under incumbent Mayor Donald Shaw, who’s running for re-election. “That’s a testament to how strong the current administration is, and how we want to move things forward.”

Holley, who served as mayor before ascending to the State Assembly in 2015, appears to be running an entire slate of challengers, including three candidates for the legislature against Atkins and his 20th district running mates.

Roselle board of education member Angela Alvey-Wimbush will challenge State Sen. Joe Cryan (D-Union), while Charles Mitchell and Myrlene Thelot will go up against Atkins and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth). Atkins said he believed the three challengers, all of whom list Roselle addresses, are running at Holley’s behest.

The situation is not a new one for Atkins. In 2021, Holley left his Assembly seat behind to wage an ill-fated primary campaign against State Sen. Joe Cryan (D-Union), and recruited a slate of Assembly challengers to run against Quijano and Atkins.

Holley’s slate lost handily, though it did fairly well in Roselle, with Holley carrying the borough against Cryan. He’s likely hoping for a similar result in this year’s mayoral primary, with his legislative slate giving him an extra boost.

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