By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
BRIDGETON – Cumberland County Freeholder Jack Surrency conceded the Democratic Primary election Thursday, vowing to continue his support for corrections workers in his last six months in office while congratulating running mate Donna Pearson for moving on to the November general election.
Surrency, the lone African American on the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders, fought to stay on the board after the county’s Democratic Party decided to dump him from its slate of candidates in favor of Millville City committeeman Bruce Cooper, who is also African American.
He was lone Democratic incumbent not to receive party support. Surrency built his own team to challenge the party’s team of Cooper and Freeholder incumbents Carol Musso and George Castellini in the July 7 election.
According to the Cumberland County Clerk’s Office on votes tallies updated Thursday, Musso lead all candidates with 7,472 votes (20.5 percent). Castellini was second (6,295, 16.89 percent), just 14 votes ahead of Pearson for the final primary spot (6,281, 16.85 percent).
Cooper finished 124 votes behind Pearson (6,157, 16.52 percent), followed by Tracey Wells-Huggins (5,682, 15.25 percent), part of Surrency’s team, and Surrency (5,248, 14.08 percent).
“I would like to congratulate my colleagues Carol Musso and George Catellini on their win and a hard fought campaign,” Surrency said in his statement. “More importantly, I want to congratulate and recognize Donna M. Pearson on her historic win, where she overcame giant-size hurdles on her way to victory.
“Her commitment, passion, and dedication to Cumberland County showed throughout this entire campaign. Donna, you made us proud and I look forward to campaigning with you,” he continued.
Pearson was previously part of the Cumberland Board, first elected in 1997 and became to first African American woman to be selected as its director in 2003.
She will now fight to win one of the three spots against a Republican ticket of Victoria Lods, Darwin Cooper Jr. and Antonio Romero, who ran unopposed.
Surrency, the former Bridgeton Board of Education member and city councilman, called the six-month campaign “exhausting.”
“I’m going to refuel, recharge, and utilize my last six months left in office to continue my fight on corrections’ reforms, COVID, micro-loans, access to recreation and public transportation, and putting an end to contracts that delegitimize our county,” he said.
“Whether as a school board member, councilman, freeholder or private citizen, a title doesn’t define my work, I do. And there’s still much work to do; we can do more. Thank you,” he said.
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