Outgoing Atlantic County Freeholder Charles Garrett will get the Democratic party line in the Atlantic City mayoral primary over incumbent Mayor Lorenzo Langford, Atlantic County Democratic Party chairman announced Wednesday.

“Freeholder Garrett is the second-highest ranking Democratic elected official in Atlantic County,” Chairman Jim Schroeder said in making the announcement. “He has done a great job as freeholder and is a loyal Democrat. Because Atlantic City is so vital to our regional economy we need a leader like Charlie Garrett to help address the problems of economic stagnation, high unemployment and public safety issues.”

The move is “conducive to party unity,” Schroeder said.

Neither Langford nor Garrett returned calls seeking comment.

Three people are running for the Democratic nomination in the June 4 primary, including retired city police officer and PBA President David Davidson Jr., who said he disagrees with the process that gives anyone an advantage in the primary. The process “disenfranchises the candidates and the voters,” he said.

“I’ve been told that line gets someone like Garrett about 1,000 votes,” he said. “The county, along with (state Sen. Jim) Whelan (are) doing everything they can to help their candidate and, at the end of the day, their candidate still will not prevail.”

Also running for mayor is Republican Don Guardian, head of the city’s Special Improvement District. He faces no challengers in the primary.

Contact Lynda Cohen:

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