Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) and Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield will run together for State Assembly in New Jersey’s 8th legislative district, local Republican officials announced today.
Peters and Stanfield won the recommendation of a district screening committee that included representatives from Burlington, Camden and Atlantic counties.
The New Jersey Globe was first to report Stanfield’s candidacy eleven hours ago.
They are expected to face Assemblyman Joe Howarth (R-Evesham), who lost the support of Republican leaders who believe he openly explored switching parties earlier this year along with State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham).
Republicans aid that Howarth declined to appear before the screening committee.
Stanfield had announced last month that she would retire as sheriff on May 1. She said that Gov. Phil Murphy’s policies and Addiego’s party switch convinced her to remain in government and run for the Assembly.
“When I made the decision earlier this year to step away from that position and let new leaders bring new ideas to the department, I had every intention of stepping away from public service,” Stanfield said. “However, as I witnessed Phil Murphy’s destructive policies take hold, and office holders begin to make decisions in the name of self-preservation rather than what’s in the best interest of their constituents, I knew there was more work to do and felt compelled to join Assemblyman Peters in his fight to protect New Jersey taxpayers.”
The recruitment of Stanfield as an Assembly candidate is a big deal for Sean Earlen, who became Burlington County GOP chairman last December after Republicans lost control of county government for the first time since 1975.
“We’re thrilled that Sheriff Stanfield has stepped up to join Assemblyman Peters in fighting for South Jersey residents against the tax-and-spend agenda of Phil Murphy and the Trenton Democrats,” said Sean Earlen. “Jean Stanfield is the best proven vote-getter for Republicans in Burlington County. Together, Peters and Stanfield will lead a dynamic slate that will help every Republican running for county and local office this November.”
The candidacy of the popular six-term sheriff creates a tremendous obstacle for Howarth, who has pledged to run off the line in a bid for re-election to a third term.
Stanfield enters the race with the backing of top Republican leaders in Camden and Atlantic counties.
“Sheriff Stanfield has more than 20 years of experience as a public servant and continuing that service in Trenton is a natural fit,” said Camden County GOP chairman Rich Ambrosino. “We know in a tough election year, our best chance of success is for Jean to join Ryan Peters on the ticket.”
She also has the backing of John Lyons, one of the most influential Republicans in Hammonton.
“It’s more important now than ever before for Republicans to have a united front and speak with one voice,” said Lyons from the Hammonton GOP. “We’re incredibly proud to join with all of the Republican committees that make up the 8th District to enthusiastically support the team of Jean Stanfield and Ryan Peters for Assembly.”
Hammonton is the only Atlantic County municipality in the 8th district. The Atlantic County GOP chairman, Keith Davis, has said Hammonton Republicans will determine who runs on their organization line.
“I’m proud that I accomplished all of the goals I have set during my time as Sheriff, particularly when it comes to building bridges between law enforcement and the community,” said Stanfield, who served as undersheriff and as an assistant Burlington County prosecutor before winning countywide office in 2001.
Peters praised Stanfield as “an outstanding public servant and campaigner.”
“I worked closely with her when I served as Burlington County Freeholder,” Peters said. “We both know the impact that the laws passed in Trenton have on the local governments and I couldn’t be happier to call her my running mate.”
The three county organizations will hold conventions later this month to make a formal endorsement vote for the organization line based on the recommendation of the screening committee.