A Democratic Atlantic County commissioner vowed to pack the next commissioners meeting with supporters Tuesday after the six Republicans on the board tabled a resolution condemning former President Donald Trump and his supporters over the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol in Washington.
“I’m going to pack the next meeting. All you had to do is vote it up or down,” said 1st District Commissioner Ernest Coursey, who represents Atlantic City, Pleasantville and part of Egg Harbor Township.
He and At-Large Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick sponsored the resolution, which took its wording from State Senate Resolution 106. That resolution passed Jan. 11 on a 24-5 vote in the Democratically dominated Senate.
The county resolution would have been strictly symbolic, said Fitzpatrick, of Linwood. She is now considering rewording it to try to get Republican support.
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“This Senate Resolution strongly condemns President Trump and his extremist supporters who were incited by the President to lawlessly attack and occupy the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” the statement to the resolution read. “The Senate Resolution also urges that President Donald J. Trump resign from office, be removed from office for being unfit to serve as President pursuant to the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution, or be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Some Republicans on the board said weighing in on national issues was too far outside the job of county commissioners, and that the demand for Trump to leave office was now moot, as his term is up. Others said they would be willing to support condemning the invasion itself, without wording specific to Trump.
“I thought since it passed the state Senate with bipartisan support, this was a no-brainer,” Fitzpatrick said of the resolution. State Sen. Chris Brown, R-Atlantic, voted for it, while state Sen. Michael Testa Jr., R-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, voted against it.
“I felt we had to make a statement of some kind,” Fitzpatrick said. “We took what passed in the Senate and sent it on down to say, ‘We support this.’ After everything that’s happened, I was surprised.”
While resignation and use of the 25th Amendment are no longer possible, a trial in the Senate and conviction are still possible, she said.