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Former Deputy Attorney General Claire Swift. (Photo: Swift Law Firm.)

Guardian, Swift win Assembly nod in Atlantic

Ciattarelli wins organization line

By David Wildstein, March 20 2021 11:11 am

Former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and former Deputy Attorney General Claire Swift won the organization line in Atlantic County for the 2nd district Assembly seat.  Swift defeated Jesse O. Kurtz, an Atlantic City Councilman, for the second seat.

Guardian secured the party endorsement on the first ballot with 456 votes, followed by Kurtz at 227 and Swift at 171.

On the second ballot, Swift defeated Kurtz, 582-272, 68%-32%.

Guardian and Swift will likely take on Assemblyman John Armato (D-Buena) and Atlantic County Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick in the general election.

Atlantic County Republicans picked Jack Ciattarelli as their candidate for governor.  Ciattarelli scored a unanimous victory over perennial candidate Hirsh Singh, an Atlantic resident who won their convention for U.S. Senate just one year ago.

Ciattarelli had effectively locked up Atlantic County in January, before former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt had even withdrawn from the race.

Singh was a no-show at the early morning convention.

Former Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor Township) will challenge Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) for State Senate.  The incumbent, Christopher Brown (R-Ventnor) is not seeking re-election.

But first, Polistina needs to win the Republican primary against Seth Grossman, a former Atlantic County freeholder and Atlantic City Councilman.

In the race for county clerk, where embattled three-term incumbent Edward McGettigan is not seeking re-election, Republicans picked Hamilton Councilman Joe Giralo as their organization candidate.

Giralo will face either Egg Harbor City Mayor Lisa Jiampetti or Mico Lucide.  The two will face off tomorrow at the Atlantic County Demcoratic convention.

The county GOP organization backed incumbent county commissioners Frank X. Balles, James Bertino and Maureen Kern for re-election.

“We promise to fight hard in this campaign to prove that the faith this committee has shown in us today was well placed,” said Kern.  “We are proud to receive this endorsement.”

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson issued a strong endorsement of the countywide slate.

“I can’t think of a better team to work with me to keep Atlantic County strong. Joe, Maureen, Frank and Jim have decades of public service and are the right leaders for Atlantic County,” Levinson said.  “With this team we can continue to keep taxes low all while continuing to expand services.”

This story was updated at 12:16 PM with comment from the county candidates, and at 12:36 PM with vote tallies. 

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