The long-time head of Atlantic City’s Special Improvement District will run for mayor in the city as a Republican, the city party said.
Don A. Guardian, 59, will make a formal announcement 5:30 p.m. March 5 in Atlantic City’s Civil Rights Garden on South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Guardian, a Northeast Inlet resident, has headed the city’s SID since the early 1990s. The organization provides security and cleaning services throughout the Tourism District, which includes the Boardwalk, Marina District, Bader Field, the area surrounding The Walk and the resort’s major roads.
The SID had a $4.7 million budget in 2010, its last year as a city-funded nonprofit. The district was consolidated into the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in 2011 as a result of the Tourism District legislation. Guardian is now paid $103,000 as the director of the CRDA’s Special Improvement Division, according to state records.
Republicans once dominated city politics but have had difficulties attracting citywide followings since the city moved to partisan elections in 2001. Jesse O. Kurtz received 22 percent of the vote in the 2009 mayor’s race and John McQueen received 9 percent in 2008. No Republican appeared on the ballot for mayor in 2001 or 2005.
Guardian referred questions to city party Chairman Mark Padula. In an emailed statement Guardian said, "Atlantic City needs a candidate people can trust, believe in and with a proven track record of really caring for the city in which they live and work.”
Democrats seeking the nomination include Mayor Lorenzo Langford, Atlantic County Freeholder Charles Garrett and retired Atlantic City Police Officer David Davidson.
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