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Atlantic City Councilman Jessie O. Kurtz. (Photo: Facebook.)

Atlantic City GOP backs Kurtz, Risley for Assembly

Local GOP club not ready to endorse in race for Brown Senate seat

By David Wildstein, February 21 2021 1:48 pm

The Atlantic City Republican Club has endorsed two candidates for State Assembly in the politically competitive 2nd district: County Commissioner John Risley and Jesse O. Kurtz, the lone Republican on the Atlantic City Council.

“Few elected officials in District 2 have exemplified our GOP core values and integrity more than Jesse Kurtz and John Risley,” the Atlantic City Republicans said in a statement. “Their collective records have been consistent in their public service, always placing service above self; always helping those in need and never wavering on their responsibilities.”

The club said they will wait to make an endorsement in the race for an open State Senate seat, where incumbent Christopher Brown (R-Ventnor) announced last week that he would not seek re-election to a second term.

Former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and former Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor Township) have both entered the race for the Republican nomination to succeed Brown.

Guardian had been seeking an Assembly seat and will now face-off against Polistina, a legislator from 2008 to 2012, at the Atlantic County GOP convention in March.

Kurtz and Risley had been looking to challenge incumbent Democratic Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) and John Armato (D-Buena).  Mazzeo is widely expected to become the Democratic Senate candidate, with Atlantic County Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick emerging as Armato’s likely running mate for Assembly.

“Through Jesse’s proven ability to win tough campaigns and marshal the resources needed to be successful in November, the Sixth Ward of Atlantic City is by far the finest in Atlantic City, and perhaps Atlantic County,” the Atlantic City Republican Club said.  “Jesse Kurtz is intimately familiar with the issues in Atlantic City which need to be remedied for district 2 to succeed.”

The local GOP also had strong words of support for Risley, calling his public service “legendary.”

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