You are the owner of this article.

Kim Horton becomes Absecon's first woman mayor

ABSECON — Council member Kim Horton was recently appointed the city’s newest mayor, taking the place of the departing John Armstrong and in the process becoming Absecon’s first female mayor.

Armstrong recently announced he was vacating the seat for personal reasons. Horton expressed interest in the position during the city’s reorganization meeting and was chosen to lead the council. Horton will serve as Absecon’s mayor at least until an election is held in the fall.

Horton, who represents Absecon’s 2nd Ward and was twice elected as a council member, isn’t treating the job as an interim position. She’s assumed the responsibilities of mayor and plans on running as the mayoral candidate in both the upcoming election, and future elections should she win.

“In my seven years of experience I have worked with various committees in town and I’m feeling pretty good about it,” Horton said. “I’ve gotten lots of messages of support and I feel good about the challenge. It feels great to represent the town I grew up in.”

Horton said she and her fellow council members were shocked when Armstrong made the announcement that he was leaving. According to Horton, Armstrong cited side business projects were taking up more of his personal time than he anticipated. Armstrong, who Horton said regretted having to step down, decided to vacate his mayoral seat before it became a distraction.

Armstrong was elected mayor in 2012, a surprise win for a man who had never served in public office before. Touting fiscal responsibility and a record of reducing the municipal budget while also tackling issues like the city’s high foreclosure rate, Armstrong was elected to a second term in 2016.

Horton’s election was also a bit of a surprise in a typically Republican leaning town.

“I was not supposed to win,” Horton said about her first election. “But, being the fact that I have been a teacher for 41 years and I have interacted with most of the families here, I’ve kind of become entrenched in Absecon for a long time.”

As for her new job, Horton is confident she’ll be able to serve the city. During her tenure on the council she’s served on numerous committees, including economic development, public works, and community affairs. She has also served as president of the Absecon Education Foundation.

Thus far, Horton has met with city Administrator Jessica Thompson and Police Chief John DeRitis to get up to speed with her responsibilities.

“This is not something that’s foreign to me,” Horton said. “I know that the mayor works closely with law enforcement and the fire department and I’m going to continue that.”

In the short term, Horton and the rest of the council are back to work. A top priority right now is finding someone to fill her now empty 2nd Ward seat. Though no candidates have been announced, Horton said a replacement will be named soon. There’s also the city’s budget to tackle, as well as her predecessor’s history of reigning it in.

But it’s the work Horton is most excited for.

“I’ve enjoyed my time on council and I’m going to enjoy my time as mayor,” Horton said.

Load comments



Submit all material to


  • Include the complete name of the group, school or other organization; where it’s located and what area it serves; the name and title, if applicable, of the person submitting the information; a person to contact with questions and whether the contact is only for us or for the public as well.
  • Information should be formatted as little as possible, without tabs or tables.
  • Photos should be high-resolution and emailed as an attachment. Include the names of the people in the photos and, if applicable, any relevant titles or relationships. Indicate how to determine who is who, such as “front row, from left.”


  • Take a picture when you travel of you or your group with one of our weeklies. Send us the picture with names, hometowns and the name of the place you visited.


  • Letters must be fewer than 400 words and received by 9 a.m. Monday for publication the same week.


  • Information to be included in event or trip listings must be submitted online at Scroll down to where it says “Submit an event.” Click on “Go to Form.”
  • You are required to sign in using a username and password. If you have previously made an account, log in using the username and password you created. If you have NOT previously made an account with us, click on “Register Here” (under the Sign In button).
  • Once you have created a username and password, you will be taken to the calendar form. Fill out the form with the relevant information. Please remember that less is best for calendar listings. Note: If you include a website, it must be the full address. For example,, not