In Atlantic City, the first Republican mayor in 23 years, Don Guardian, was sworn into office today.
Hundreds gathered in Atlantic City this New Years Day to ring in the new year with a new mayor. Don Guardian, was sworn into office by Congressman Frank Lobiondo who voiced his support for the new mayor by saying, "Hopefully this will make a big difference for Atlantic City in the future."
Guardian's win over Lorenzo Langford came as a surprise to many, in a city where Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans.
Guardian told NBC40, "Everyone brings a life experience. I am an openly gay, white, Republican, Roman C Catholic, and Eagle Scout. All of these have helped me become a good man, make good decisions, and have high ethical standards and I bring that to the job that I have here."
The day's multi-cultural inaugural events began at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, with an Inter-denominational mass attended by representatives from various faiths, many of whom supported Guardian's, "A mayor for everyone," campaign.
Hundreds of supporters also gathered at the inaugural reception after being sworn in. One supporter, Jonas Shour, said, "I think he'll be a hell of a Mayor and I think he's going to put Atlantic City on the map." Another supporter, Herb Stern, said, "Wonderful guy - very smart, very dedicated. He is going to do a good job and I wish him well for the coming year."
Over the next four months, Guardian says one of his first initiatives as mayor will be introducing himself to all 1454 city employees to figure out a way to improve the city's financial needs.
Prominent New Jersey Democrats also say they plan on reaching across the aisle and working with the new Mayor. New Jersey Senator, Jim Whelan, said, "I think we're off to a good start. Today is a day of celebration - the hard work begins tomorrow."
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