Gloucester County Democrats are shaking up their freeholder ticket.
The two incumbents who were to face reelection this year, Joe Brigandi and Jean DuBois, announced today that they will not run again, according to a report in the Gloucester County Times.
The Gloucester County Freeholder Director is Steven M. Sweeney who, as president of the state senate, is the most powerful Democratic elected official in the state.
Both DuBois and Brigandi cited their families as motivators for their retirement in statements quoted by the paper.
“My highest priority must be my family. While I have always enjoyed their unwavering support, I also cannot help but feel that I, and they, have lost out on so much because of the demands of being an elected official. It is the right time to make up for lost time,” said Brigandi.
DuBois, asked about rumors of her impending retirement several months ago by PolitickerNJ.com, said she intended to run again.
There’s no immediate word on who the Democrats, who have 7-0 control of the board, will pick.
Gloucester County Republican Chairman Bill Fey didn’t buy the family excuse and called the retirements a “bait and switch,” saying that local Democrats were going to try to pin the blame for the county’s $1 to $2 million budget gap on the retiring freeholders.
“I wish Joe and Jean well, but let’s be real, the ‘I want to spend more time with my family’ excuse is a convenient way for politicians to back out of a race they know in their hearts they can’t win,” said Fey. “The bottom line is that Joe and Jean have seen the writing on the wall. Our party is in resurgence in Gloucester County and they knew we were going to call them out on their double-dipping, big-spending, anti-taxpayer records and they didn’t want to face the music.”