Former Atlantic County Sheriff Frank X. Balles is expected to seek the open freeholder seat that was vacated today by Frank Formica, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Formica announced his resignation from the Board of Freeholders today after eleven years in office.
Republicans will fill the seat at a special election convention within the next 35 days and the winner will serve the remaining fourteen months of Formica’s term.
Balles served as sheriff from 2009 to 2017, and returned to office in 2018 as a candidate for Egg Harbor Township Committeeman. He is a Pleasantville police captain.
He ousted Democratic incumbent James McGettigan in 2008 by a 54%-46% margin, and was re-elected in 2011 and 2014 by large pluralities. He did not seek re-election in 2017.
He lost a State Senate race against incumbent James Whelan in 2013 by a 55%-45% margin.
Update at 9:14 PM: Balles announced his candidacy for the vacant freeholder seat.
“I would like to formally enter my name for consideration to fill the vacated seat of Freeholder Frank Formica. I believe that my knowledge and leadership as Atlantic County Sheriff (2009-2017) combined with my experience serving on Egg Harbor Township Committee (2019-2020) has provided me with a unique skill set which will further our efforts keeping Atlantic County the best run county in the state,” Balles said “I look forward to bringing my experience with county government as well as municipalities to be able to step in and get to work on day one. If selected by County Committee, I will work alongside our County Executive, county administration and Freeholders to ensure a smooth transition and continue to keep Atlantic County moving in the right direction.”