The content of Atlantic County Assemblyman Chris Brown‘s Friday night announcement wasn’t ever really in doubt, Save Jerseyans, but the massive turnout at the Cardiff VFW in Egg Harbor Township suggested widespread eagerness to hear it all the same.
He’s running for State Senate in 2017 against Second Legislative District colleague and presumptive Democrat nominee Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, and Brown believes the choice is clear for promotion.
“I believe meeting the challenges [facing Atlantic County] require strong, decisive leadership,” Brown said. “They require a state senator that actually earns the respect of his peers, and is an effective, articulate voice for the people of this district.”
LD2 is likely to yet again serve as an epicenter of sorts for New Jersey’s state-wide legislative contests.
In his second reelection bid, Brown successfully weathered an historic money attack from outside groups to finish first out of four Assembly candidates in 2015. The big Brown vs. Mazzeo rematch comes in the wake of Jim Whelan’s recent retirement announcement.
The race itself is expected to meet or exceed the record $5 million spent two years ago, cumulatively, by both sides and third party groups.
Facing yet another bombardment in 2017, the Iraq veteran stressed his commitment to independent representation to the audience of approximately 600-700 supporters (an exact count was hard to get since the room reached capacity and onlookers were forced to hang outside the door or gather in small groups to listen from the VFW’s lawn).
Assemblyman Brown specifically emphasized his determination to continue standing up to Governor Chris Christie, a declaration that garnered strong, loud approval from a room packed with a healthy number of supportive independents and Democrats but also a contingent of Republican officials including County Executive Dennis Levinson and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. among others. Brown is no stranger to Christie criticism, accusing the Governor of using N.J. families “like a punching bag” last January.
Among his top priorities moving forward? Resisting future attempts at casino expansion while simultaneously working to diversify the regional economy.
“Even though we won this battle,” Brown cautioned, referencing the defeat of last fall’s ballot imitative, “there are special interests looking to expand gaming to other parts of New Jersey.”