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Somers Point Councilman James Toto

Hurley: Toto won’t run for Formica freeholder seat

By David Wildstein, September 14 2020 9:13 am

James Toto, who is seeking a seat on the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders in the November general election, he won’t seek the unexpired term of former freeholder Frank Formica, WPG Talk Radio host Harry Hurley reported this morning.

Formica resigned on Friday, one day after the deadline to run a special election for his seat.

That helped Atlantic Republicans avoid a control election in a high turnout presidential election year.

Republicans must hold a special election convention to fill the remaining fourteen months of Formica’s term.

Toto, a Somers Point councilman, is running for a three-year term on a ticket with incumbent John Risley.  They face Democratic freeholder Caren Fitzpatrick and her running mate, Celeste Fernandez.

If Toto had run for Formica’s seat, he’s still remained on the general election ballot.  If he won, he’d have the choice of keeping a three-year term or running again next year.  Either way, it would have trigged another special election convention.

“The Toto move is utter class,” Hurley said.

Former Atlantic County Sheriff Frank X. Balles entered the race on Friday evening, hours after Formica resigned.

Two-time congressional candidate Brian Fitzherbert jumped in the race on Saturday, with no plan about paying off a $30,789 campaign debt from his last race.

“He’s a perennial candidate,” Hurley said.  “He’s loony-tunes.”

Hurley says that Freeholder Vice Chair Maureen Kern is expected to replace Formica as freeholder chair.

Balles joined Hurley on “Hurley in the Morning,” on WPG Talk Radio 95.5 this morning.  Hurley broke the news of Balles running on Friday evening.

Hurley said Toto told him that Balles “had earned it.”

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