Republican Atlantic County Commissioners Frank X. Balles, Jim Bertino and Maureen Kern launched their re-election campaigns Wednesday.
“I am a lifelong Somers Point resident and can’t imagine being anywhere else — I am honored to serve as Chairwoman of the Board of County Commissioners,” said Kern, the commission chair. “I fight every day to put Atlantic County taxpayers first. To keep our County taxes low, to spend every tax dollar like it’s my own and to keep Atlantic County the best run County Government in the state.”
Kern faces a challenge from Democrat Jelani Gandy for the heavily Republican District 2 seat.
Celeste Fernandez, who last year lost a bid for County Commissioner by just 381 votes, is set to take on Balles, a former sheriff who last year won a special election convention to fill Frank Formica’s seat after the longtime commissioner unexpectedly resigned.
“I am excited for this campaign and proud to be running with great public servants like Jim and Maureen,” Balles said. “I believe deeply in community service and in helping our neighbors and humbly ask for your support.”
It’s not clear who will challenge Bertino for the District 5 seat.
Hammonton Councilman Joe Giralo will join the slate as a candidate for the county’s clerkship.
Organization Democrats are lining up behind Egg Harbor City Mayor Lisa Jiampetti for that seat, though she faces a primary challenge from Atlantic County Our Revolution Founder Mico Lucide, who previously sought an Assembly seat under the Green Party banner.
Incumbent clerk Ed McGettigan is not seeking re-election.