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Atlantic Democrats pick Freeholder candidates

By David Wildstein, March 12 2018 9:01 am

Atlantic County Democrats are considering an all-women freeholder ticket when they meet on Sunday to endorse candidates to run on the organization line,

Control of the freeholder board is at stake this year.  Republicans have a 6-3 majority and all three seats up in November are Republican.  Democrats still face an uphill battle, since the At-Large seat is occupied by a popular incumbent and the two district freeholder seats were drawn to elect Republicans.

Celeste Fernandez of Egg Harbor Township, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who owns an insurance business and has advocated for the Pleasantville Main Street business community, will run against Freeholder-At-Large Frank Formica.  Formica represented District 2 on the freeholder board for six years before running At-Large in 2015.

Against freshman District 2 Freeholder Maureen Kern, Democrats are looking at Maureen Leidy of Ventnor, a former domestic violence counselor who has worked for the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation.  She is now employed at Inspira Health Network.

In District 5, Democrats have recruited Mullica Township Committeewoman Barbara Butterhof-Rheault, the head of the Mullica Education Association, to run against incumbent James Bertino.  She is a public school teacher in Mullica and serves as the town’s public safety director.


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