by MATT FRIEDMAN
Dennis Levinson’s campaign used Jim McGettigan’s own words against him today, issuing a press release that quoted McGettigan as saying that Levinson was doing a “good job” as County Executive.
McGettigan, the Democratic Atlantic County Sherriff, is running for County Executive against Levinson, the Republican incumbent since 1999. The comments came on a May 25th radio interview with Dicky Kravitz, when McGettigan said "Mr. Levinson has done a good job. I would never say anything to the contrary." According to the release, McGettigan also told the radio show that becoming County Executive would be “like a career change for a lot of people. You move on for your own selfish reasons."
In the release, Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis said that if McGettigan feels that way, he should drop out of the race. But McGettigan responded by accusing Davis and Levinson of taking advantage of his honest campaign demeanor. While he did speak those words, McGettigan said that it was part of his strategy of not waging a negative campaign.
“What I said was that I thought he was doing a good job, but I could do a better job,” said McGettigan. “I was going to treat him as a gentleman and hoped that his campaign would keep the same tempo as mine… I can see the campaign is already taking a negative tone.”
As for McGettigan’s “selfish reasons” quote, he said that all he was doing was telling it to the voters straight.
“Why do people retire or do anything? Well of course it’s for their own interests,” said McGettigan. “Why did my opponent retire from being a school teacher and run for County Executive? It’s a selfish reason. I just didn’t sugar coat it and they’re going to use that against me.”