Former Superior Court Judge Georgia Curio was chosen today by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner to serve as the fifth, tiebreaking member of the Atlantic County Commissioner Redistricting Commission.
At the first meeting of the commission to redraw Atlantic County’s five county commission districts held last week, the four partisan members – Democrats Michael Suleiman and Thelma Witherspoon, and Republicans Keith Davis and Riaz Rajput – reached an impasse almost immediately. The Republican members wanted to quickly draw a map of least change, but Democrats disagreed, prompting the commissioners to send a letter to Rabner requesting that he choose a fifth tiebreaking member.
“The statute calls for the appointment of ‘a fair-minded and impartial person who shall not have held elected public or party office in this state at any time during the’ past three years,” Rabner said of his choice. “[Curio] satisfies those qualifications and many others. Her years of service … demonstrated her unwavering commitment to excellence and impartiality and her concern for the best interests of the people of our state.”
Curio, the daughter of former Daily Journal reporter George Curio, was once a Republican, but appears to have changed her views in recent years. After working years ago for the politically connected law firm of former Cumberland County GOP chairman Lawrence Pepper, Curio has since donated money to prominent Democrats like President Joe Biden and U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and to the anti-Trump Lincoln Project.
Records show that she is currently an unaffiliated voter, but was a member of the Cumberland County Women’s Republican Club prior to her nomination to the bench.
She was 38-years-old when Gov. Christine Todd Whitman nominated her to the bench in 1995 and served as assignment judge prior to her retirement in 2017.
The map for the five districts of the Atlantic County Commission, which also elects four at-large members, has been drawn by Republicans every cycle since 1981. The current map puts the county’s two most Democratic cities, Atlantic City and Pleasantville, into one hyper-Democratic district, a choice that Republicans intend to continue and Democrats want to undo.