Vineland, NJ, March 2
The Cumberland County Democratic Party has elected its slate for the 2023 primary election. John Capizola, La Rae Smith and Joeigh Perella (she/her) were elected candidates to fill the seats as Cumberland County Commissioners. Robert Austino and Nick Acevedo III, Esq. were elected candidates for Sheriff and Surrogate respectively.
John Capizola is currently completing the term for County Commissioner George Castillini who resigned at the beginning of the year. John, with his wife Giovanna and son Marco are Vineland residents. John earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Delaware where he majored in health and physical education and obtained his NJ teaching certificate in Physical Education (K-12). In 2008 he completed a master’s degree program in Educational Leadership at Wilmington University, graduating Summa Cum Laude with Distinction by earning a 4.0 grade point average. Upon graduation he fulfilled the requirements to achieve his New Jersey Principal and Supervisor Certifications.
La Rae Smith, achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Business Marketing, Stockton Sate College/University and holds a Teacher Certification Pre-K-12, Montclair State University. She is a Social Service Coordinator for the United Methodist Communities in Ocean City, New Jersey. La Rae has worked in education since 2018 for the Commercial Township Board of Education. For her work she has been recognized by the First District NJ Congress of the United States House of Representatives and Cumberland County Democratic Women receiving the Outstanding Woman of Cumberland County Certificate of Commendation presented by Cumberland County Commissioners. She is a lifelong Cumberland County resident and enjoys a large community of family and friends. She also serves as an elected board member of the Commercial Township Board of Education.
Joeigh Perella is a lifelong resident of Cumberland County and a graduate of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and resides in Vineland, NJ. Joeigh has been practicing dentistry since 2018 with Dr. Jacquet’s Family Dentistry Office in Millville NJ. She is a member of the TriCounty Rotary Club, board member for the Robert V. Hoffman III Memorial Fund and serves on the board for the Rowan University Alumni, where Joeigh graduated in the spring of 2012 with a B.S. in Biological Science. In 2021 Joeigh was awarded a District Governor citation from Rotary for volunteerism and in 2022 received the Business Professional award from the Millville Chamber of Commerce.
Sheriff Robert A. Austino brings over 30 years of law enforcement experience to the Sheriff’s Office. He was hired by the Vineland Police Department in April 1973. He worked his way up the ranks of the Vineland Police Department to the rank of lieutenant. Sheriff Austino retired from the Vineland Police Department in July of 2003. He was elected Sheriff of Cumberland County and took office January 1, 2009. Sheriff Austino currently is a member of the International Association of Chief of Police, National Sheriff’s Association, New Jersey Sheriff’s Association, Cumberland County Human Relations Commission and Cumberland County Youth Services Advisory Council. He is also an advisor for the Cumberland County VoTech Center. He is past president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Cumberland Lodge #8 and president of the Vineland Superior Officers Association.
Nick Acevedo is a graduate of Temple Law School and currently practices in Philadelphia. He also holds a BA in Biology from Stockton University. Nick, and his wife Sandra are 40-year resident of Cumberland County. Nick has practiced law for 30 years and has also held executive positions in state government, initially in the Department of Community Affairs, the Office of Energy Conservation and Weatherization and lastly in the Department of Commerce as Vice President for Domestic and Foreign Business Attraction and Retention and in charge of all of New Jersey’s foreign offices. Nicks vast experience in government and private sector will serve the resident of Cumberland County well as Surrogate.
“This slate was elected unanimously, and we are confident the voters will recognize the quality of the Candidates.” Said Nancy Sungenis, Chairwoman Cumberland County Regular Democratic Organization.