Jelani Gandy announces candidacy for Atlantic County Commissioner District 2


Today, I would like to formally announce my candidacy to be the next Atlantic County Commissioner to represent District 2. As a lifetime resident of Linwood, I have a precise understanding as to what issues our district faces both in the present and in the future. These challenges include, but are not limited to: 21st century job creation, investing in renewable energy, addressing the inequities of public school funding, creating socioeconomic justice, and perhaps most importantly, Covid-19 vaccine distribution. After having experienced the untimely death of my uncle due to covid complications, the response from our government is of personal concern to me. Through this pain, I understand how unmistakably vital it is that we, as a community, prioritize eradicating this devastating virus.

In 2018, I was elected to serve as the Founding Father President of the Phi Delta Theta Chapter of Stockton University, an organization that promotes philanthropy. Some of our successes that we are proud of, include: raising thousands of dollars to support various causes, including the “Live Like Lou Foundation”, which is dedicated to raising awareness of ALS and giving hope to those struggling with this disease. In an effort to further my campus involvement at Stockton, I was elected to the Student Senate in 2018 and served diligently on the Student Affairs Committee.

As a Political Science major at Stockton University, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to receive firsthand experience concerning the inner-workings of local and state government. In 2019, I worked as an intern in the Legislative Office of Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, and later that fall, I joined their re-election campaign. The following year, I joined the Amy Kennedy for Congress campaign and contributed to various projects within her campaign. I currently serve as the New Jersey State Director of the United Rural Democrats, a coalition dedicated to raising awareness in regard to the various issues facing rural communities nationwide.

It has become abundantly clear to myself and many others that our district is in desperate need of a public servant who is willing to fully devote themselves to the needs of the individuals they are elected to represent. Atlantic County as a whole has long been misrepresented by career politicians, and my focus is centered on changing this status quo and bringing full transparency to the Board of Commissioners.

My values and aspirations are deeply rooted in my upbringing. My mother, who currently works for the federal government, has always inspired me to carry out my civic responsibilities with empathy and candor. My father, now deceased, was a small business owner who demonstrated to me the value of working diligently in order to better my own future, the future of my family, and the future of our community. Though we come from vastly different generations, we share the same core values that have inspired me to devote my life to serving the people of Atlantic County.

Though some may consider this endeavor to be presumptuous, it is my belief that the government should always be focused on improving the standard of living for those they are elected to represent.  If the voters of Atlantic County are gracious enough to allow me to serve them, I will work tirelessly to promote innovative legislation that directly improves their lives in clearly observable ways. Only with bold ideas and a clear resolve will we be able to overcome the obstacles that we are confronted with today. It is my hope that you, the people of Atlantic County, are willing to join me in our efforts to phase out career politicians and replace them with individuals who are solely focused on the needs of our community.

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