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Brian Fitzherbert (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Debt-ridden ex-congressional candidate enters Atlantic freeholder race

Brian Fitzherbert announces bid for Formica’s open seat

By David Wildstein, September 12 2020 9:13 am

Still in search of a public office after two unsuccessful bids for Congress, Brian Fitzherbert has lowered his sights and has entered the race for Atlantic County Freeholder.

Fitzherbert will challenge former Sheriff Frank X. Balles at a special election convention to replace Frank Formica.  Formica resigned his freeholder-at-large seat on Friday.

Since Formica’s resignation came one day after the deadline to put his unexpired term on the November 3 ballot, the winner of the special election convention will serve until the end of 2021.

Fitzherbert was seeking the GOP nomination to run against Rep. Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey’s 2nd district, but dropped out in January after the freshman congressman switched parties and decided to seek re-election as a Republican,

His campaign was struggling even before Van Drew’s party switch after raising just $25,257, even though he entered the race in early 2019.

As a candidate for freeholder, Fitzherbert may need to explain his $30,789 campaign debt.

He has $54 cash-on-hand, but owes thousands to campaign staffers and consultants.  Since dropping out of the race, he hasn’t raised a penny to pay off his debt.

The 2020 race was his second failure.

Fitzherbert sought the GOP nomination in 2018 and won the organization line in Gloucester County, but dropped out of the race after he failed to secure enough signatures to get on the ballot.

He has now taken back his old post as chairman of the Atlantic County Young Republicans.

Sources say he was asked by some party leaders to run for State Assembly in 2019, but declined.

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