By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent
Vince Mazzeo has been the mayor of Northfield, an Atlantic City suburb, for six years.
His family has run a fruit and produce business here for 54 years, and Mazzeo was born and raised here.
Now he’s an assemblyman elect.
After two weeks of uncertainty, the Atlantic County Board of Elections declared him the winner today over incumbent Republican John Amodeo.
“Officially we just got word that it was certified and I’m up by 40 votes,” said Mazzeo.
The final tally for the second of two Assembly seats was Mazzeo 25,164, Amodeo 25,124 — a difference of 40 votes out of 50,000 cast.
“I feel pretty good, its been a grueling campaign. We actually started in February and to get where we’re at it, there was a lot of nay sayers that you can’t win cause Christie’s on the ticket,” said Mazzeo.
Amodeo did not want to talk but talked to us last Thursday when he was still a few votes ahead.
“I’m sticking with my number, 10, I like that number. It’s a little close for comfort but we’re going to fight it till the end. I’m going to fight it for the 25,000 people in my district that cast votes for me, that’s who I’m fighting for,” said Amodeo.
Amodeo’s attorney says the incumbent hasn’t decided on a possible next step.
“Well under the law the electoral process continues and is on going and Assemblyman Amodeo is considering his options. Once that process is complete I am sure that he will have a discussion with the media,” said Amodeo’s attorney Randolph Lafferty.
Amodeo was expected to be the top vote-getter of the four Assembly candidates in this district. We heard a number of theories today as to why he fell short, but they are all conjecture. Meanwhile, Mazzeo’s victory is especially meaningful to longtime Atlantic County Democrats.
“We’re ex-tactic, this is going to be the first time in 30 years that we’ve had both a Democratic Senator and Assemblyman at the same time. It has to go back to Steve Persky and Mike Matthews, that’s how far back it goes,” said Atlantic County Democratic Chair Jim Schroeder.
The Board of Elections also certified Republican Don Guardian as the next mayor of Atlantic City.
Mazzeo’s win nullifies the one seat Republicans thought they’d gained in the Assembly.