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Margate City Commissioner John Amodeo served in the New Jersey State Assembly from 2008 to 2014. (Facebook Photo)

Back in local office, Amodeo seeks second term in Margate

Former Assemblyman runs for re-election to city commission

By David Wildstein, May 08 2019 5:03 pm

Just one challenger is contesting three incumbents who make up the entire Margate City Commission in next week’s non-partisan elections.

One of the incumbents is John Amodeo, a Republican who served three terms in the New Jersey State Assembly before narrowly losing re-election in 2013.

Amodeo is seeking re-election on a slate with incumbents Mike Becker, the current mayor, and Maury Blumberg.  Their opponent is Calvin Tesler, an adjunct professor and doctoral student who moved to Margate two years ago.

The resignation of longtime powerhouse Bill Gormley from the State Senate in 2007 led to a shuffling of the political decks in Atlantic County.

Gormley’s Senate seat was supposed to go to Assembly Minority Whip Frank Blee (R-Absecon), but Egg Harbor Township mayor Sonny McCullough beat him at a special election convention by a vote of 97 to 61. That race was a sort of surrogate contest between Gormley and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-Ventnor), who backed McCullough.

Democrat Jim Whelan, who had ousted one-term Republican assemblyman Kirk Conover in 2005, gave up his Assembly seat to challenge McCullough in the general election.  Whelan won by a 57%-43% margin.

Blee, who endorsed Whelan in the general election, did not seek re-election to his Assembly seat.

Despite Whelan’s margin in the Senate race, Republicans Amodeo and Vince Polistina easily won the two open 2nd district Assembly seats in 2007.  They were re-elected by wide margin in 2009.  Polistina left the Assembly to challenge Whelan in 2011 and was replaced by now-State Sen. Chris Brown (R-Ventnor).

Amodeo lost his seat to Northfield mayor Vincent Mazzeo by just 40 votes in 2013.

A former Linwood city councilman, Amodeo resurrected his career in 2015 as a local candidate in Margate. He ran with Becker and another incumbent, Brenda Taube.  Taube lost to Blumberg by about 130 votes.

Taube lost a second race in 2017, finishing 6,990 votes behind Mazzeo in a race for State Assembly.

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