ATLANTIC CITY — The Atlantic City Republican Party announced its 2019 City Council and freeholder candidates Monday, including incumbent Councilman Jesse Kurtz in the 6th Ward.

In the 1st Ward, the local GOP is backing Matt McGrath, a security officer at Ocean Casino Resort who is focused on increasing funding for the Atlantic City Fire and Police departments. He called the cuts to both departments “biblical” following the state takeover.

In the 4th Ward, the group is backing Sean Reardon, a small businessman and real estate investor who would like to see a more effective and comprehensive small-business and development plan in and around the Tourism District.

And in the 5th Ward it is backing Sharon Zappia, a school board member who would like to see additional services and programs for city youth, following the state’s cuts to middle school sports programs.

There were no candidates for the 2nd or 3rd wards, but there may be write-in campaigns, said Atlantic City GOP Vice President Tom Forkin. He said all wards where there are candidates had more than one person vying for GOP backing.

Winning backing means being on the party line for the June 4 primary election.

Council President Marty Small, who represents the 2nd Ward, is the only incumbent not being challenged by his own party.

“This is perhaps the most viable, diverse and comprehensive ticket since the partisan form of government was implemented in Atlantic City in 2001,” said Republican Club President Fernando Fernandez.

The only Republican now on council is Kurtz.

Forkin said the Democrats have a crowded slate of candidates, with those not getting the party nod recently vowing to fight on through the primary.

“This underscores the unhappiness of residents with City Council and the Gilliam administration, even from within their own party,” said Forkin. “Change is coming.”

Atlantic City police Officer Sumon Majumder is running for freeholder in Atlantic County’s 1st District, which includes part of Atlantic City, against incumbent Democrat Ernest Coursey. He said he is focused on developing an effective relationship between city and county government, and saving tax revenue.

Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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