Without a change in Atlantic City’s leadership, the city will be lost to state oversight, Dave Davidson Jr. warned as he officially announced his run for mayor Wednesday.

“This is probably one of the most important elections here in the last couple of decades,” the lifelong resident said. “If this administration stays, we will be state-run and we’re going to lose this city.”

Davidson, 51, is running for the Democratic nomination against Mayor Lorenzo Langford and Atlantic County Freeholder Charles Garrett.

“I will embrace public safety — not butt heads with it,” said the retired city police officer and former president of the PBA.

Joining his ticket is Patricia Tatum, a 20-plus-year resident of the city who is vying for the council-at-large seat.

“I’m not running against anybody,” said Tatum, 58. “I’m running for a seat on City Council.”

When Atlantic City police held a meeting in September to introduce residents to its new anonymous tips texting system — tip411 — Tatum said, “If you want a better community, you have to get involved.”

“This is me participating,” she said Wednesday. “I think there’s a lot that can be done.”

Davidson announced his run in front of City Hall by reading from a prepared statement. But that didn’t last long.

“I said before I don’t do well with prepared statements,” he said just a few words in, folding up the speech and putting it in his pocket.

“We have an administration that’s void of understanding what our actual needs are,” he said. “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. It would be absolutely insane to re-elect this mayor and think it’s going to get any better.”

Davidson said he is unhappy with the ballot position, which will put Langford with the other Democrats and have his two-person ticket on the far right. But he said that won’t deter his grass-roots campaign.

“We’re going to knock on every door,” he said.

And he already has plans for after he wins.

“The first thing we’ll do is march from my swearing in to Stanley Holmes Village, and we’re going to take that neighborhood back.”

In addition to the Democrats who have announced their candidacy, longtime Special Improvement Division head Don Guardian is running as a Republican.

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