NORTHFIELD - Atlantic County At-large Freeholder Alisa Cooper announced Tuesday that she will run for the state Assembly's 2nd District seat - a decision that she said was delayed because of the recent redistricting of legislative districts.

Cooper can officially be nominated at the Atlantic County Democratic convention Thursday, along with state Sen. James Whelan, D-Atlantic, who is running for reelection in the newly reconfigured 2nd District.

"One of the things I've mentioned was that my late mother, Delores Cooper, that her political career involved serving as freeholder and freeholder-at-large, and after serving as freeholder for many years she went into the New Jersey state assembly," Cooper said Tuesday, following a press conference for Atlantic County Democratic candidates at the Stillwater Building in Northfield. "This has been one of my goals in my political career, to follow in my mother's footsteps."

Cooper waited until this week to announce in case her hometown of Linwood was moved out of the 2nd District, she said. The neighboring town of Somers Point had been in the 1st District, for example, but was shifted back into the 2nd District.

"I really wasn't sure where Linwood was going to be," she said. "Thank God it's still in legislative (District) 2. ... I'm ready to go and I'm really excited about getting into this."

Cooper, who because of her Assembly bid will not run for reelection to the freeholder board in November, cited some of the board's accomplishments during her five years there, such as the $40 million improvement to the Atlantic County Institute of Technology and securing a $3 million federal loan for Boscov's in Egg Harbor Township. She added that she also wanted "to bring about transparency in government."

Whelan, also at the event, said "We're very happy to have her as a running mate, and I very much look forward to the campaign."

There was no word yet on who would be her running mate, though Cooper said she expected an announcement within the next few days. Atlantic County Sheriff's Officer Cliff Sudler had previously been mentioned, but the Galloway Township resident's hometown was shifted to the 9th District in the redistricting announced Sunday.

Cooper and her running mate would face Republican incumbent Assemblyman John Amodeo and his running mate Chris Brown, an attorney who lives in Ventnor, in the November election. Whelan would face Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina in the state senate race.

Contact Steven Lemongello:

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