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Calvin Ferrara. (Photo: Calvin Ferrara.)

Ferrara launches bid for Atlantic County Clerk

Ex-Amy Kennedy staffer will seek Democratic nomination

By David Wildstein, February 23 2021 4:29 pm

A former Amy Kennedy for Congress campaign staffer will seek the Democratic nomination for Atlantic County Clerk.

Calvin Ferrara, a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffer who served as Kennedy’s deputy political director last year, wants to take on a three-term Democratic incumbent, Michael McGettigan, at next month’s Atlantic County Democratic convention.

“It has become clear to me through my time working on campaigns that our Clerk’s Office here in Atlantic County has not been stepping up to the plate during COVID. They have not informed voters when changes have been made to the normal voting process, they have made mistakes that have disenfranchised voters,” Ferrara said.  “I’m running to restore integrity, accountability, and competency to the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office.”

The Atlantic County Democratic Candidate Recruitment Committee has not yet met to interview candidates in advance of next month’s convention.

McGettigan found himself under fire last year after he mailed the wrong ballots to 554 voters in a race for county commissioner that turned out to be decided by just 286 votes.

As a result, Superior Court Judge Joseph Marczyk tossed the entire election and mandated a do-over.

Ferrara is advocating a more aggressive agenda for the county clerk.

“We need to make the people of Atlantic County more aware as to what it is that the County Clerk’s office actually does,” he said. “It should not solely be left to the citizens of Atlantic County to seek out that information on their own. The Clerk’s Office should be actively engaging with the citizens and informing them how the Clerk’s Office can be useful to them – whether they want to make a change of address, request a vote-by-mail ballot, or run for public office, all of this information should be readily available.”

Ferrara is the second Democrat to announce a challenge to McGettigan.

Mico Lucide today released endorsements from Northfield City Councilwoman Susan Korngut, the 2019 candidate for Atlantic County Executive, and from Tanzie Youngblood, who challenged Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) in the 2018 Democratic primary.

“Mico has the intelligence, passion, and common sense necessary to make the County Clerk’s Office work for all residents of Atlantic County,” said Korngut. “People are hungry for the kind of fresh, bold ideas and ethical leadership that he brings.”

Lucide is campaigning as a supporter of redesigning ballots to remove the advantage of candidates running on the organization line.

As a candidate for county clerk, Ferrara has promised to increase bilingual communications in his office.

“Over 16 percent of Atlantic County’s citizens are Hispanic. For many, English may not be their first language,” said Ferrara. “As county clerk, it would be my responsibility to make sure that all important information that is released from my office is also made available in Spanish. I have interacted with so many Atlantic County voters over the past few years who speak no English. Providing these citizens with the information they need is paramount to maintaining a well-informed and all-inclusive community.”

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