Vince Mazzeo (D-2) is dropping his 2017 State Senate bid, Save Jerseyans.
A copy of Mazzeo’s statement was obtained by Save Jersey which was first to report the bombshell campaign announcement.
“After much thought, I have decided to forgo seeking the State Senate seat being vacated by my friend Senator Jim Whelan and instead seek re-election to the General Assembly,” Mazzeo explained.
“With my father’s passing last week and the realization that now more than ever my duty to my family our business is growing, I need to be able to balance my responsibilities to my store and my job as Assemblyman. I know the job and the tremendous time and effort it requires, and I’m ready to continue to serve and run for re-election to the Assembly to fight for all of Atlantic County,” the Assemblyman continued.
Freeholder Colin Bell, a failed Assembly candidate from 2015, will step in to run for the State Senate seat of retiring incumbent Jim Whelan while John Armato, a Buena Vista Township Committeeman, will run alongside Mazzeo for the second Assembly seat to round out the Democrat ticket.
The hastily re-shuffled Democrat team’s opponents were quick to question, on background, whether running for Assembly is truly less time intensive than an Assembly bid or if other factors were at play, including outside party pressure. Said more directly: was Mazzeo told to drop?
Asm. Chris Brown (R-2), who is slightly favored to win this fall, was off a strong fundraising start versus Mazzeo.
LD2 is considered one of the state’s last true “toss up” districts and the NJGOP’s top opportunity for a State Senate pick up. The leading GOP Assembly prospects to campaign with Brown are Brigantine Councilman Vincent Sera and former Margate Commissioner Brenda Taube.