Two days after entering the race for Atlantic County Freeholder, Brian Fitzherbert is dropping out, according to Harry Hurley of WPG Talk Radio.
Hurley said Fitzherbert capitulated after a meeting today with Egg Harbor Township Mayor Sonny McCullough, a former state senator and one of the party’s most influential officials. He will back Balles, according to Hurley’s report.
That clears the field for former Sheriff Frank X. Balles to replace Frank Formica, a longtime GOP freeholder who resigned on Friday.
Balles announced his candidacy on Friday evening, hours after Formica submitted his letter of resignation. He resigned one day after the deadline to put the vacant seat on the November general election ballot – a move that would have triggered a control election.
Fitzherbert announced his bid on Saturday morning.
The 31-year-old Fitzherbert, who has never held public office, is now 0-3 after a two-year-old political career in which has name has still never appeared on a ballot.
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 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.