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Ventnor attorney Stephen Dicht is running for Atlantic County Surrogate. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Dicht will challenge Curcio for Atlantic surrogate

Ashley Bennett turned down chance to run

By David Wildstein, March 07 2020 3:56 pm

Stephen Dicht, a Ventnor attorney who represented a woman arrested for assaulting a police officer on a beach in Wildwood last summer, is expected to become the Democratic candidate for Atlantic County Surrogate.

He was the only candidate to file for the endorsement of the Atlantic County Democratic organization at tomorrow’s convention.

The New Jersey Globe previously reported that freeholder Ashley Bennett was offered the chance to run for surrogate, but declined.  She is seeking the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd district.

This will be Dicht’s second bid for public office.

He ran for Atlantic County freeholder-at-large in 2012, but lost to Republican Frank Formica by 5,105  votes, a 63%-37 margin.

The Republican incumbent, James Curcio, is seeking re-election to a third term.

A Memorial Day incident  garnered national attention after a video of police officers were seen tackling and striking 21-year-old Emily Weinman. She wound up pleading to a disorderly persons offense.

Curcio was elected Surrogate in 2019 after spending sixteen years as an Atlantic County freeholder.

He ousted incumbent James Carney in 2010 by 1,123 votes and kept the job in a 2015 rematch with Carney by an 895-vote margin.

During his first year as surrogate, Curcio had his wrists slapped after hosting a fundraiser for GOP Assembly candidates.  As a probate judge, surrogate’s are banned from partisan politics.

Democrats had called for Curcio’s resignation after he pleaded guilty to drunk driving in 2012.

Curio’s father was Samuel A. Curcio, a former Hammonton municipal court judge who served in the State Assembly from 1968 to 1972.

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