PLEASANTVILLE — The city’s first female council president is looking to make history again by becoming its first woman mayor.
Judy Ward announced her bid for mayor Wednesday morning surrounded by supporters in front of City Hall.
Ward, 67, is seeking to replace Mayor Jesse Tweedle Sr., who announced last week he would be retiring from politics.
“I’m running for mayor to be a new leader, a new vision and a new direction,” Ward said. “It’s taken a long time to get there. I’ve waited, I was patient. I think now, the time is right.”
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A member of City Council since 2005, Ward, a Democrat, chairs the finance committee, the youth committee for the city’s safe community coalition and the senior citizens advisory board.
Chants of “Win, Judy, win,” came from dozens of supporters who turned out Wednesday. Ward said she was “overwhelmed” by the showing.
Among those who were present for the announcement were Councilmen William Christmas, Lawrence Davenport, Lockland Scott and Ricky Cistrunk; former Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford; Atlantic City Councilman Kaleem Shabazz; Northfield Councilwoman Susan Korngut; and Atlantic County Freeholders Caren Fitzpatrick and Ernest Coursey.
“I think it’s time for Pleasantville to select a woman mayor,” said Coursey, who represents the city and Atlantic City on the county freeholder board. “She’s at the right place at the the time. She’s put in her time, she’s paid her dues to the community and she wants to continue to see Pleasantville grow.”
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Ward said her goals as mayor would be to make the streets more business-friendly while supporting existing merchants, increase offerings for the Bayview Avenue entertainment series and “continue to pursue” avenues to resolve education issues while working with members of the school board.
Christmas said that when Ward says she is going to do something, “you can take it to the bank.”
“The one promise I can make is that honesty (is what) you will get from me,” Ward said. “Sometimes, it may not be what you want to hear, but it will be honest.”
Primary elections will be held June 2.