Armato and Marino Say Atlantic Contest ‘Too Close to Call’

Today’s convention

GALLOWAY – Assemblyman John Armato (D-2) just swung by table 36 here at the sumptuous Seaview a Dolce Hitel and grinned. “Too close to call,” he said in response to a question by retired South Jersey Transportation Authority Deputy Executive Director Tony Marino, a former county committeeman from Egg Harbor Township.

Marino had the same assessment.

“Too close to call,” he told InsiderNJ.

The men were referring to the contest here for the Atlantic County Democratic Committee line.

The two main combatants in this contest are Montclair University Professor Brigid Harrison and mental health expert Amy Kennedy, among others.


How close is too close?

Right now: 9-3 Harrison in Somers Point. Kennedy had the edge in Hamilton.

Kennedy was seen as having the stronger play in Atlantic City and Pleasantville on the strength of the support from the local Democratic Party.

Marino said he was energized by the contest.

As for President Donald J. Trump, “The coronavirus is not helping him but I think a lot of people are getting very tired of the strange things coming out of his mouth,” Marino said.

Plus, “People are disappointed with [U.S. Rep. Jeff] Van Drew,” added the veteran party man, who said he was particularly discouraged by Van Drew’s sycophantic attitude around the Republican President, to whom he paid fealty.

The place was crammed with people.

Kennedy and Harrison and their fellow candidates roamed the carpet.

Marino backs fellow teacher Harrison, but he has close ties to the Kennedys and Savell.

It was a tough call.


But Marino went with Harrison based on what he cited as her experience as a college educator.

Moreover, “Brigid Harrison babysat our daughter when she was five months old,” he said.

Marino called today’s convention the most exciting in these parts since 1977.

“That was then-Assemblyman Steve Perskie challenged for the state senate [against incumbent Joseph McGann],” he said. “I was his paid campaign manager at the time. I walked very closely with Nelson Johnson, the author of the book Boardwalk Empire.”

Moments later, Harrison came back to the table to thank her supporters here, Marino among them, from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Chairman Mike Suleiman
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