ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Rhonda Le Grice, 84 South Ave., chairman of the municipal Democratic Committee, filed to be the democratic candidate for Mayor in the November election. Le Grice filed with incumbents Roy Dellosso and Robert Sutton, both of whom are seeking re-election to the seats they now hold on Borough Council.
The Democrats do not face any competition in the June primary. Republican candidate Councilman Jack Archibald faces a primary challenge from Councilman Lou Fligor, who filed as a republican without the support of the local Republican Committee and did not file with any council hopefuls on his ticket.
In accepting her party’s choice to run for the mayoral position, Le Grice said, “why not? Why not step up and do the things that need to be done?” She listed several primary avenues she would investigate further and improve should she be successful in November, but noted that the mayoral race is open to any candidates. “There are more non-affiliated voters in every district in Atlantic Highlands than there are either Democrats or Republicans,” she said, “so this race is open to anyone.”
Le Grice praised the current Harbor activity, describing it as a distinct asset to the borough, but added she felt it has more potential, could be used more in all seasons. But she lamented the number of empty lots and closed businesses on First Avenue and said she would make it a priority to encourage small businesses not only to come into town, but to stay here. She would also increase environmental awareness and said there is a need, which she would also address, to reach out more to new residents in the community.
The committee is planning a meeting this week to formulate their complete program for the election, the mayoral candidate said.
When asked about the possibility she filed a petition more to serve as ‘a placeholder’ should one of the council candidates decided to run for mayor, she vehemently responded, ‘absolutely not. I would not accept the position under those circumstances. I’m in this through November, and the only thing that would have me step down is if I had to be carried out. I can assure you, I will be here in November.”
The question arose since Dellosso had said in January he was considering running for the mayoral position instead of councilman, but would not do so if Fligor were also to decide to run for the top post. With Fligor filing to run for the position outside the regular republican line, should he be successful in the June primary, he would be the only candidate for Mayor along with Le Grice. Election laws do not permit candidates to file in the partisan primary elections for any position following last Monday’s filing date, but should a candidate who has petitioned to run, step down, a replacement could be named to fill the spot.
Independent candidates will have until the June 2 Primary to file for the November election.