Three Democrats announced they were seeking their party’s nomination for Atlantic County freeholder Monday.
Atlantic City attorney Bard Shober, of Ventnor, is seeking the at-large nomination for the seat currently held by Republican Freeholder Joe McDevitt.
Pam Fields, of Atlantic City, the executive director of Main Street Atlantic City, is running in the 1st District, which includes the first five wards of Atlantic City, Pleasantville and sections of Egg Harbor Township, currently held by outgoing Democratic Freeholder Charles Garrett.
Brandi Endicott, a Clinical Nurse Manager for chronically ill and disabled children, will run in the 4th District, which includes Galloway Township, Brigantine, Absecon and Port Republic. Republican Richard Dase is the current 4th District Freeholder.
In a statement, Shober said that he is running to add more balance and oversight to the Board of Chosen Freeholders, which is currently made up of 7 Republicans and two Democrats. Currently, the Freeholder Board is made up of 7 Republicans and 2 Democrats.
“Too often, ordinances and resolutions are presented and approved with minimal review and discussion by the freeholder board,” Shober said. “I intend to change that. In view of what occurred with the South Jersey Economic Development District, we must have more accountability and more intense scrutiny on the part of the legislative branch of county government.”
Fields, who cited her background in economic development, said that “we continue to focus on jobs and restoring our regional economy. New Jersey’s unemployment rate is among the worst in the country and Atlantic County’s jobless rate at 13% is among the worst in New Jersey. Atlantic County government simply has to do more in this area.”
Endicott called for “more transparency and accessibility” in county government.
“Freeholder meetings should be at times and locations that allow for greater public participation than we have now,” Endicott said. “Not everyone can get to a meeting at 4 o’clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday to see how the county lawmakers are choosing to spend our money and resources. Governing bodies frequently use streaming technology to broadcast meetings and our Freeholder Board should be doing the same.”
The Atlantic County Democratic Convention is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday at the Clarion Hotel in Egg Harbor Township.
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