Lifelong resident and veteran Council member for the past 7 years, Rick Delucry, is finally running for Mayor of Brigantine. Delucry will battle Councilman Andy Simpson in the upcoming November election, both looking to fill the seat of exiting Mayor, Phil Guenther.
Delucry, arguably one of the more able and respected members of Council, is a Democratic stand-out on an island considered a GOP stronghold. BUT, that GOP hold on Brigantine could be showing signs of cracking.
Just a coincidence? Republican long-timers like Congressman Frank Lobiondo and EHT Mayor, Sonny McCullough recently announced their retirement. Brigantine’s Guenther calling it quits was another head-scratcher. The exit of Guenther pal, Brigantine City Manager Ed Stinson is another curious move. Stinson recently jumped ship to Ventnor to become the head of public works for that Downbeach town.
Most Brig Dems on Council come and go quickly over the years. But, Delucry has accomplished what many other Brig Dems have not. Longevity in office and respect.
Delucry often reaches out across the aisle, something rarely seen on the GOP side. Privately, a few Republican Council members praise Delucry for his balanced approach on tough issues. Even dyed-in-the-wool Republican residents in Brigantine see Delucry as a very strong contender in the upcoming Nov 2018 election. A contender that could inject a fiscally conservative approach to Brigantine’s finances and operations.
One particular Brigantine Republican that won’t be singing Delucry’s praises is Councilman Andy Simpson. He wants to be Brigantine’s next Mayor too.
It won’t be a cake walk for Simpson. He’s just not as well-liked as the current Mayor, Phil Guenther. In fact, Simpson seems to be more feared, than respected, by city employees. Maybe City Manager Stinson was happy to escape the discomfort of reporting to Simpson? Lot’s of anecdotal evidence to defend that statement.
Why did Brigantine Mayor Phil Guenther decide to hang it up? Good question. Maybe Phil simply realized the party was over?
A few educated guesses why Brigantine Mayor Guenther is stepping down:
- Guenther sensed the winds of change. A new Governor and Democratic momentum through-out South Jersey.
- Phil missed chance to fight back against Gov. Christie last summer, when State warned Brigantine of north end beach take-over, within a year.
- Still handing out longevity pay, even after changing rules 4 years ago.
- Home values and tax assessment issues
- More pressure to combine Brigantine’s 2 schools
- Over-taxation created wasteful, $6 million surplus
- Mismanagement of Brigantine Links golf course, mishandling Ron Jaworski negotiations.
- More pressure from State to consolidate, increase use of shared services
Rick Delucry brief backgrounder:
- Elected to Brigantine City Council in 2011.
- Attorney with Cooper Levenson Law Firm in Atlantic City
- His wife, Bobbi, moved to Brigantine in 1980
- Rick and Bobbi raised two sons, Mickey and Steven. All went through the Brigantine school system.
- Rick is a CCD instructor & member of St. Thomas Pastoral Council.
Rick quote: Never forget that Council makes decisions with other people’s money. Residents trust us. Taxpayers count on us to do what’s fair and best, for the entire City of Brigantine.