DeLanzo bows out

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A race is on for Democratic nomination

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – After 12 years, Susan DeLanzo announced she won’t run again for Township Committee.

Instead, Michael Clark of Swainton and Salvatore “Sal” DeSimone of Rio Grande are seeking the Democratic nomination. Whichever candidate is chosen will face Republican Melanie Collins of Rio Grande in the November General Election.

DeLanzo announced her decision to not seek reelection during the Middle Township Democratic Club meeting Wednesday night. DeLanzo was not immediately available for comment.

In 2010, DeLanzo became the first woman mayor in Middle and served in that role for two years.

Clark said he has been thinking about tossing his hat into the Township Committee for a few years.

“This year I think it was the right time,” Clark said in an interview Thursday.

He said he would rely on his banking experience and he would try to not increase taxes.

Clark has been in banking since 1993 and has worked with Sturdy Savings Bank since 2005 as assistant vice president/branch manager in Cape May.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in sports management from Harding University in Arkansas and moved to New Jersey in 1990.

Clark has been a volunteer with the Cape May Court House Volunteer Fire Co. since 1994 and he has been the president since 1996. He has been the president of the Cape May County Firemen’s Association for three years.

Clark is also a member of the Cape May Kiwanis Club, Cape May Rotary and the Cape May Chamber of Commerce.

He attends Cape May Court House Church of Christ; he is the song leader and teaches a teen Sunday school class.

Clark was born and raised in Springfield, Vt. He lives in Swainton, is married to Victoria, and they have two daughters.

DeSimone said he wants to serve on Middle Township Committee because a Democrat on the board would mean there would be “checks and balances.” It’s not about politics, he said, but about serving the community.

He is a fire district commissioner in Rio Grande. DeSimone served on the Cape May County Construction Board of Appeals, where he was chairman for several years and on the Cape May County Bridge Commission.

DeSimone served at the president of the building officials of New Jersey. In 2010, he was named building inspector of the year in New Jersey.

He worked about 30 years in government – for Cape May County, Middle Township and as a construction official for Avalon.

DeSimone grew up in Lodi in Bergen County and graduated from that high school in 1966. He moved to Cape May County in 1970.

He is certified as a public manager from Rutgers University, national flood plain manager’s license and obtained 36 credits from Atlantic Cape Community College in building code enforcement.

DeSimone is married to Lucille. He has two sons and a daughter.

Middle Township Committee includes DeLanzo and Republicans Mayor Dan Lockwood and Tim Donohue. The committee shifted to a Republican majority after Donohue secured a three-year seat on the board in 2011. Lockwood won reelection in 2012.

Collins is a Middle Township High School graduate.

In 2012, she became a county GOP Committee member. Collins worked campaigns to reelect Lockwood and to elect Donohue.

She serves on the Middle Township Zoning Board.

Collins has a master’s degree in public administration from Marist College. She teaches computer and finance courses at Middle Township High School.

Collins could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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