Incumbent Evesham Mayor Randy Brown tonight – after 12 years on the job – said he informed the Burlington County Clerk that he would not seek reelection in the November election.
“This is purely a professional business decision,” Brown said at the local council meeting, noting that he did not believe he could finish another term as mayor if re-elected.
To watch his full announcement please go here. A source told InsiderNJ that Brown may have a crack at a special teams coaching job in the NFL and if he gets it “didn’t want to leave the town hanging.”
Sources say Councilman Steve Zeuli will replace Brown on the ticket for mayor.
In response, Evesham Township Democratic candidates said they plan to stay the course following what they call a hail-mary, last-minute switch-and-bait by Brown, who withdrew from the top of the Evesham Republican ticket.
Jaclyn Veasy, the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Evesham, and her Council running mates Heather Cooper and Patricia Hansen, will all remain on the ballot.
“It’s certainly a surprising move by the Republicans, but not one that helps them,” said Evesham Township Democratic Committee Chairman Philip Warren. “Their remaining candidates and party insiders still rely on pay-to-play special interest donors to fuel their campaign, and still listen to their donors instead of the people of Evesham. Mayor Brown’s withdrawal will not erase their record of support for nearly every single item Mayor Brown put on the agenda, from tax giveaways to for luxury apartments, pulling funding for police oﬃcers in schools, or their ill-fated attempt to not respond to residents at public meetings.”
Veasy, Cooper, and Hansen’s Campaign Treasurer and Democratic committee member, Mark Natale, said that “there is only one reason why a three-term incumbent, with a full warchest of special interest money, withdraws from a race after Labor Day. He see the grassroots movement we are building and the ever-growing discontent with his administration, and he knows that Democrats are destined to win in November.”
As for why he thinks Mayor Brown withdrew from the race, Chairman Warren said that he believes “that Mayor Brown sees the writing on the wall. For a decade he hasn’t faced an organized and even decently funded campaign against him until this year. He knows that voters all over Evesham are ready to vote out Republicans up and down the ballot and that most residents agree that our town is not heading in the right direction. He saw the tight race for Congress, the Burlington County Democratic candidates door knocking all over, and that the Evesham Democratic candidates have been campaigning for months already, so he decided to pull out instead of facing the voters.”
“It’s also quite disrespectful to the voters to do this at the last minute. This seems like the Republican party protecting itself instead of giving voters as much time as possible to learn about the candidates,” added Chairman Warren.
“It certainly puts an interesting twist on the race – instead of facing an egotistical, self-serving candidate, we’re now facing rubber stamping Republican party faithfuls who still owe the same big donors and are running on past accomplishments instead of new ideas. This certainly helps us look forward to November 6th,” said Campaign Treasurer Mark Natale.