Jim McElwee will pursue the nomination of the Galloway Democratic Club in November’s special election, McElwee announced Sunday night, July 15.
The special election, to be held Nov. 6, became necessary when Councilman from his position on June 25. His term was set to expire in 2013.
"I would like to thank Councilman Kleiner for his service to Galloway Township and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” McElwee said in a statement issued Sunday night. “Having met with residents over the past few months, I have found a growing consensus of Galloway taxpayers who are tired of all the scandals, abuses, and excuses. They are seeking public officials who work together to make our township a better place to raise a family and live the American Dream. After taking time to consult with my family on this important decision, I have decided to seek the Galloway Democratic Club's support as the endorsed candidate for the November election, by following it's Constitutional nominating process."
McElwee said he received a vote of confidence from the Democratic Club last month, and an official decision is expected at its meeting tonight.
McElwee named two important issues in his announcement: ensuring that spending by the township is carefully managed and bringing new business and the resultant ratables and jobs to the community. He also said he'll be running on basically the same platform he ran on
He announces his intention before he knows who his Republican opponent would be. Last Tuesday, the Republican Committee submitted as possible replacements for Kleiner through November, and council was to choose between the three during a public interview process at a special meeting on Thursday.
However, only two nominees, , were available. The third candidate, Frank Lucarelli, was unavailable, so the decision was postponed until the July 24 council meeting, one day before the deadline for council to choose one of the three nominees.
Whoever council chooses will serve through the end of the year, and face McElwee in the special election.
McElwee ran for council when three seats were up for grabs. He finished fifth out of six candidates in that election with 2,718 votes. In January, McElwee was appointed to serve as a member of the Zoning Board. In February, he joined the Galloway Township School District’s Superintendent Advisory Board.
"Last time I ran, I didn't have a lot of name recognition," McElwee said. "But now I think people recognize I've been out there and I've been on top of the issues. ... People were not happy with (the Republican Committee's) choices. They were disappointed, and I think I offer something unique."
He regularly attends council meetings and other community functions, according to his biography provided in his announcement.
He is a supervisor for the South Jersey Transportation Authority at Atlantic City International Airport.
McElwee has lived in Galloway with his wife, Kerry, for 15 years. The two have five adult children and three grandchildren.
He was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to New Jersey at the age of 16. He graduated from Lakewood High School and Ocean County Technical Institute.