Cherry Hill Mayor Susan Shin Angulo will not get party support for a second term this year, with local Democrats instead choosing to back Council President Dave Fleisher, the New Jersey Globe has confirmed.
Angulo, a former county freeholder, was elected mayor in 2019 to succeed incumbent Chuck Cahn, who decided not to run for re-election. But in Angulo’s first term as mayor, many local Democrats apparently felt that she had not distinguished herself enough as a strong leader.
Fleisher is starting his campaign with the endorsements of every member of the township council, County Commissioner Melinda Kane (D-Cherry Hill), and four former mayors, including Cahn and former Mayor Susan Bass Levin.
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead as Cherry Hill Mayor and am committed to ensuring the township is the best place to live, work, play and raise a family,” Fleisher said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “I will use my business experience to run the township in a manner that is fiscally responsible and invests in our neighborhoods so that people can safely enjoy all Cherry Hill has to offer.”
Angulo has not yet announced whether she intends to run for re-election. Local Democrats have pressured her to retire, but given the strength of the Democratic line in Camden County, Fleisher would likely win regardless of what Angulo chooses to do.
Cherry Hill is strongly Democratic – Angulo won in 2019 against Republican Nancy Feller O’Dowd by a 64%-36% margin – so the winner of the Democratic primary is near-certain to prevail in November.
With Angulo’s presumptive departure, the already-low number of female mayors in New Jersey will drop even further. Of the 30 largest municipalities in New Jersey, Cherry Hill is the only one to currently have a woman serving as mayor, and the Korean American Angulo is one of an even smaller number of women of color leading their towns.
This story was updated at 12:44 p.m. with Council President Fleisher’s announcement.