TRENTON, N.J. – From church leaders within his Roman Catholic faith to his scoutmasters brought up in the Great Depression, the mentors in Assemblyman Don Guardian’s young life shaped the man he would become, teaching him the importance of hard work, perseverance, and community service. The son of Croatian immigrants who eventually settled in Palisades Park, Guardian earned his Eagle Scout wings and later did the seemingly impossible: In a city on the verge of financial collapse, where Democrats outnumber Republicans nine to one, he won the Atlantic City mayoral race in 2013 and brought it back from the brink of bankruptcy. He then unseated Democrat incumbents to become Assemblyman in 2021.
In this latest Assembly Republican Office summer mini biography series released Monday, learn how Guardian’s work and life experience in the private sector—the Boy Scouts of America, the Claridge Casino & Hotel, and the Atlantic City Special Improvement District—influenced his steadfast commitment to coalition-building in local and now state government.
“I was able to help people that were not as fortunate as myself. I was definitely someone that made a difference for the better in society, in life,” Guardian (R-Atlantic) said. “God decides what’s going to happen, and this was the time I was meant to be here.”
Guardian, who lives in Atlantic City with his husband, Louis Fatato, represents New Jersey’s Second Legislative District in Atlantic County.