With exactly two weeks to go before the deadline to register for the primaries for the 2013 elections, the Galloway Township Democrats officially announced their four candidates for political office.
Incumbent Jim McElwee will be joined by challengers Bill Montag, Cliff Sudler, and Mike Suleiman on what the party is billing as the “Restore Galloway” team, the party announced Monday morning, March 18.
“I am excited to be joined by these three qualified and energetic candidates,” McElwee said in a release issued Monday morning. “Galloway will have a bright future with their leadership.”
“The people of Galloway are sick of layoffs and lawsuits,” the Restore Galloway Team said in a collective statement issued as part of the release. “We need new, fiscally responsible members of council who will help bring back the pride that Galloway deserves.”
McElwee was elected to council in 2012, when he won a special election over Republican John Mooney. The election was held to fill the seat left vacant when Dennis Kleiner resigned from council last summer. The seat officially expires this year, meaning McElwee will run in an election for the third consecutive year. He also ran for council in 2011. He is a supervisor with the South Jersey Transportation Authority at the Atlantic City International Airport.
The other three seats that expire at the end of the year belong to Republicans, including Mayor Don Purdy, Councilman and former Mayor Tom Bassford, and Councilwoman Whitney Ullman.
The Republicans have not officially announced their ticket at this time. The deadline to register for the primaries is Monday, April 1.
The Republicans currently hold a 5-2 edge on the seven-person council, with McElwee and Jim Gorman serving as the only Democrats.
McElwee is a 16-year resident of Galloway Township, and has lived in New Jersey since he was 16. He graduated from Lakewood High School and the Ocean County Vocational Technical School. Prior to his election in 2012, McElwee was on the Township’s Zoning Board and is a member of the Galloway Township School District’s Superintendent’s Advisory Team.
His goals for the township are to ensure that spending is carefully managed and that new business is brought into the township, along with ratables and jobs for the community, he said.
Suleiman is a Legislative Aide for Sen. Jim Whelan, who is also up for re-election this year. He has served as the Municipal Chair for the Galloway Democratic Club since 2011, is a member of the Galloway Township School District’s Superintendent’s Advisory Team, served as an Alternate Delegate to last year’s Democratic National Convention and was named one of Atlantic City Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 this year.
The lifelong Galloway native graduated from Absegami High School and Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
He’s a member of the Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association (MBCA).
He said he decided to run for council because he has the “determination, enthusiasm and vitality to make Galloway an even better place for the next generation” of residents.
Two issues he’s focused on are the Garden State Parkway Interchange Projects, particularly the need for an interchange off the White Horse Pike, and transparency and technology. According to Suleiman, he helped the Township improve its Facebook page last year.
Montag, of Smithville, grew up in Germania and is a lifelong resident of the township. He went through the Galloway School system, and graduated from Absegami High School in 1994.
He is a former employee with the Township’s Department of Public Works for 10 years, and also has worked with Hamilton Township in the same capacity. He also has served as a volunteer firefighter with the Bayview Volunteer Fire Company.
He holds a Certified Public Works Manager certificate with the State of New Jersey, and was recognized by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 2007 for his work on a municipal stormwater program.
He s a former Region 7 Director and President for the Public Works Association of New Jersey, and is currently a South Jersey Gas Construction Manager.
Sudler, of the South Egg Harbor section of the township for seven years, is a 23-year veteran of the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Department. He is currently a lieutenant with the office, and has also been assigned to Internal Affairs, Courts and Transportation and Fugitiv Squad units during his tenure.
He grew up in Atlantic City. He’s a former Mainland/Pleasantville NAACP Branch President, and was appointed to the New Jersey Martin Luther King Commission in 2010. He graduated from the University of Phoenix with a degree in Criminal Justice, and is working toward another degree in Private Security/Business Management. He’s also completed the New Jersey Certified Public Manager Course, Levels I-III, and is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).