Republican Assemblyman John Amodeo formally conceded his election loss to Democrat Vince Mazzeo on Tuesday afternoon, a full month after the general election and following numerous court hearings and a formal recount.
“I congratulate Mayor Vince Mazzeo on his successful campaign and wish him luck in his first term in the New Jersey Assembly,” Amodeo, who said he contacted his opponent Tuesday, said in a statement.
Mazzeo said he is glad to put the election behind him.
“John’s a gentleman and I think he did the right thing conceding at this point,” he said. “I’m certainly glad this election is over and I’m ready to move forward.”
Amodeo, who had served as a 2nd District lawmaker for the past six years, said the last month was a tiring one that began with what he’d thought was a razor-thin election night victor, only to see his and Mazzeo’s fortunes reversed as provisional ballots were counted.
A series of hearings to determine the validity of the results were held in Atlantic County Superior Court, in addition to the formal recount, all of which broke in favor of Mazzeo.
The results certified Tuesday by the Atlantic County Board of Elections showed Mazzeo defeated Amodeo by 51 votes, 25,182 to 25,131.
Amodeo said the last few weeks had been “exhausting.”
“But with only a handful of votes separating me and Mazzeo, we felt it was our duty to ensure that every vote was reviewed and re-counted. That has been done to our satisfaction.” he said
He thanked voters and said he was proud of his campaign’s positive message, even if it “fell short.”
Mazzeo, who is also Northfield’s mayor, will join Republican Chris Brown in representing the 2nd District in the Assembly, which covers most of Atlantic County.
“I want to congratulate Vince Mazzeo on his election to the General Assembly and look forward to working with Senator Whelan and Assemblyman-elect Mazzeo on the challenges facing Atlantic County and our state,” said Brown, who was the top vote-getter in the Nov. 5 election for the district’s two Assembly seats.
Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis released a statement following Amodeo’s announcement saying he disagrees with the decision.
He said the election was mishandled and suffered due to incompetence.
“Vince Mazzeo will become the accidental assemblyman and that is unfortunate,” the statement reads. “We need a thorough investigation and real reform to ensure that this flawed election never happens again.”
County Democratic Chairman James Schroeder responded to Davis’ comments in the story posted on PressofAtlanticCity.com by saying he took offense at Davis’ characterization of the election.
“Any objective and transparent review of this matter will cause he and his party both embarrassment and culpability,” he said. “He owes Vince Mazzeo an apology.”
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