A longtime Atlantic County Republican leader will not seek re-election, he announced Thursday.
State Sen. Chris Brown announced Thursday that he will not make another run for public office, clearing the way for “new candidates (who) can bring fresh ideas while energizing more voters to participate in the process.”
Friends encouraged him to run again, saying that he is “at the top of my game,” and pointing to poll numbers that show “a clear path to re-election.”
“To run just for the sake of holding onto a title would mean putting my ego ahead of the needs of the families of Atlantic County,” he said. “That’s not what I believe in. It is healthy for our democracy and better for those we represent to open opportunities for others to serve in office.”
Brown told BreakingAC he’s not sure what the future holds.
“I believe life should be a fun adventure,” he said. “Who knows what is next.”
Just hours after the announcement, former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said he would vie for Brown’s open seat, after previously saying he would run for Assembly, has decided to go for Brown’s now-open seat.
“Originally, I thought I could best serve as one of the two Assembly candidates with Sen. Chris Brown leading our delegation,” Guardian said in a statement released Thursday night. “However, after today’s announcement, and with overwhelming support to run for the open Senate seat, I am excited to announce my candidacy for State Senate.”
Guardian said he first wanted to thank Brown “for his decades of public service.”
“Not only has he served as an elected official, but he bravely served in the United States military and has also served in numerous other positions across South Jersey,” Guardian said. “Senator Brown is a tremendous leader, and he leaves big shoes to fill. I will work extremely hard to live up to the high standard of public service that Senator Brown has set for us.”
He thanked those who encouraged the run, including Brown and Sen. Bill Gormley.
Guardian said he would be a strong voice for South Jersey in Trenton, drawing on his experience as mayor and a business administrator.
As for Brown, he told BreakingAC he’s not sure what the future holds.
“I believe life should be a fun adventure,” Brown said. “Who knows what is next.”