In case you thought that Atlantic County Commissioner John Risley was going to leave the Republican contest for the New Jersey General Assembly?

Guess again.

Risley made it clear this morning during a wide-ranging “Hurley in the Morning” interview that he is staying in the race all the way through to the Saturday, March 20, 2021 Atlantic County Republican Convention.

When directly asked by me if he was running, Risley responded, “Certainly, and, I’m fully committed. I have always been fully committed.”

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I next pressed Risley on his views that presumptive State Senate nominee has stated his preference to run with former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Claire Swift.

Risley remained respectful towards Polistina at all times during this morning’s interview, but, he was unmoved by Polistina’s desire to recommend his own running mates in advance of the convention.

Directly responding about this Risley said, “The Atlantic County committee members are very powerful. Let’s allow the selection process to work,” said Risley.

Risley directly took on Guardian, Swift and Atlantic City 6th Ward Councilman Jesse Kurtz, saying that “the other candidates have never run county-wide.”

I also raised the issue that this would be Risley‘s third consecutive year on the ballot and is that a problem?Risley bluntly responded ... by answering a question with a question ... “Why would that be a problem”?

Additionally, I discussed that Polistina is calling for Republican unity in order to best be able to compete with the Democrats and the multi millions of dollars that they will have at their disposal.

Risley swatted this away by agreeing that party unity is essential and that following the convention, Republicans will unite.

Risley talked about his name recognition and said that “The Risley name tells the voters that you can trust me.”

Risley touted his knowledge and experience, along with his 20 years of service on the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, now called Commissioners.

“I like Vince Polistina a lot, said Risley. “I just don’t think it should go the way that he wants. I will support the winning candidates. I’m a fighter.”

“Let the rank and file members decide,” concluded Risley.

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