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Burlington County Sheriff Michael Basantis. (Photo: Burlington County Sheriff's Office).

Basantis to retire as Burlington County Sheriff

Pritchett, Kostopolis named as potential replacements

By Joey Fox, February 08 2022 1:18 pm

Burlington County Sheriff Anthony Basantis, a Democrat, has announced that he will not seek re-election this year, creating an open seat in the Democratic-trending but still politically competitive county.

Basantis was first elected in 2019, winning the race to succeed Republican Sheriff Jean Stanfield (R-Westampton) by a 52-46% margin against Republican Michael Ditzel; Stanfield had held the office for 18 years before deciding to run for the state legislature. 

On the same ballot, Democrats flipped the final GOP-held county commissioner seat, completely solidifying their control over the county. The party has held onto its gains in the two election cycles since, meaning that no Republican has won countywide office in Burlington County since 2016.

The two Democratic frontrunners to replace Basantis are Mount Laurel Mayor Kareem Pritchett, who became the town’s first-ever Black mayor this year, and undersheriff Jim Kostopolis, who lost to Stanfield in 2013 and 2016.

Also on the ballot in Burlington County this year will be the county commissioner seat formerly held by Linda Hynes, who left office to become a judge of the Superior Court. Former Democratic Assembly nominee Allison Eckel is considered the clear frontrunner to replace her; Edgewater Park Committeeman Michael Trainor also intends to run.

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