Mayor Martin Pagliughi, one of the state’s longest-serving local officeholders, is unopposed in his bid for re-election to an 8th term in Avalon (pop. 1,334), an upscale Jersey Shore resort town in Cape May County.
Voters will cast their ballots in next week’s non-partisan municipal elections.
Pagliughi was elected to the borough council in 1987 and has been the mayor since 1991.
Running on a ticket with Pagliughi are incumbent Barbara Juzaitis and newcomer Samuel Wierman Jr. Juzaitis was appointed to the borough council last year when Dick Dean stepped down for health reasons after more than 20 years in office.
Wierman, a member of the Avalon planning and zoning boards, is seeking an open seat created by the retirement of councilman Charles Covington.
Juzaitis and Wierman face on challenger: James Lutz, the owner of Jim’s Fishing Road and Reel Repair.
Pagliughi was immediately tagged as a rising star in Cape May politics when he won the council seat in 1987.
That year, two Republican assemblymen, Joseph Chinnici (R-Bridgeton) and Guy Muziani (R-Wildwood), decided not to seek re-election. Chinnici, who owned a coat manufacturing company, had been indicted on charges that he bribed a civilian purchasing agent to get a contract to manufacture coats for the U.S. Department of Defense. Muziani had been diagnosed with cancer.
The GOP ran two freeholders, Frank LoBiondo of Cumberland and Gerald Thornton of Cape May, for the open Assembly seats. Democrats picked Cumberland freeholder Edward Salmon and Raymond Batten, a Sea Isle attorney who lost to Chinnici and Muziani by more than 15,000 votes in 1985.
LoBiondo was the top vote-getter in the 1987 Assembly race, with Salmon picking up the second Assembly seat by 2,379 votes against Thornton. Batten finished just 16 votes behind Thornton.
Republicans ran Pagliughi for Assembly in 1989, which turned out to be a strong Democratic year. South Jersey congressman. Jim Florio carried Cape May by 4,234 votes and Cumberland by 10,602.
Salmon easily won a second term, running 3,115 votes ahead of LoBiondo. Batten came within 1,407 votes out ousting LoBiondo, with Pagliughi finishing fourth – 9,275 votes behind Salmon.