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Stone Harbor Mayor Will Not Stand for Reelection

Stone Harbor Mayor Will Not Stand for Reelection

By Vince Conti

Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour
Judith Davies-Dunhour.
File Photo
Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour

STONE HARBOR – Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour has announced that she will not seek reelection in November.

Davies-Dunhour said it is time to step down and turn her attention to some other priorities, including care of her ailing mother. At the end of this year, she will have worked in various capacities for the borough for 40 years, including 25 as a police officer and dispatcher.

Upon retiring from the Police Department, Davies-Dunhour, a Republican, immediately entered the political arena, where she won election to the governing body as a councilwoman. She went on to retain the seat in two subsequent elections before ending her third term early in order to run for mayor.

In 2016 she challenged sitting mayor Suzanne Walters in the Republican primary and won with 60% of the vote. She went on to be elected mayor that November and ran successfully for a second term unopposed in 2020. Her term ends Dec. 31.

It was a difficult year for the mayor in 2023, when some residents used the public comment period of council meetings to point to the visible tension that existed between her and certain council members. The mayor was even censured by the council in August over remarks she made a month earlier concerning a resolution to appoint Manny Parada as the permanent borough administrator.

Davies-Dunhour says the tensions with the council are not the reason she has decided to step down. “It’s time,” she said. “I want to spend time on family priorities and on actions I want to pursue at the animal shelter.”

She serves as the manager of the county’s Animal Shelter & Adoption Center, a permanent part-time position she has filled for 15 years. She said the job as mayor just did not give her the time to pay attention to some different priorities at this point in her life.

As a police officer, Davies-Dunhour was the first woman to advance to the rank of sergeant in the department. In 2005, she served as the department’s accreditation manager, successfully guiding it through the process to become at the time only the fifth agency in the state to achieve accreditation through the New Jersey Chiefs of Police program.

Her years of service as a councilwoman included membership on four of the six council standing committees, providing her with a broad view of municipal governance.

A graduate of Wildwood Catholic High School, Davies-Dunhour went on to secure two bachelor’s degrees, one in criminal justice from the University of Scranton in 1984 and the other in psychology from Stockton University in 1997.

Known by many as “Mayor Judy,” Davies-Dunhour has been a visible presence in Stone Harbor governance since ending her career in law enforcement. After 40 years of serving the borough, she says, “It’s time to go on to other things.”

With the June 4 primary election fast approaching, Davies-Dunhour’s announcement may send mayoral aspirants scrambling to get signatures for a spot on the ballot. The Republican primaries are most often the deciding elections in Stone Harbor.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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