New Jersey Sen. Joe Kyrillos, who is running on the Republican ticket for U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, was in town Sunday afternoon, Oct. 14.
Kyrillos' appearance during the second day of the annual Irish Festival in Historic Smithville and the Village Greene was one of several stops the state senator made over the weekend in his quest for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Menendez.
He had one other stop on his agenda Sunday, and he will resume his campaign today, with a scheduled stop in Princeton with Gov. Chris Christie.
Kyrillos, who is from Monmouth County, said he felt it was important to have a presence in southern New Jersey; it was a perfect day to be out and support local traditions and heritages of the people who live in the Garden State, he said.
Local officials -- from the local and county level -- also felt that it was important to have Kyrillos on hand so that residents can have the chance to see and hear him.
"It's important for people in South Jersey to hear (and see) him. He's open to our ideas and thoughts," said Galloway Township Councilman John Mooney, a Republican who is running for his council seat in November against Democratic challenger Jim McElwee.
Kyrillos, according to Mooney, is among the first to know where Galloway is; most are unaware of anything below Route 195, he said.
"This is the first time that the Republican Party has felt enthusiastic" about a candidate, Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders Chairman Frank Formica added, noting that the party feels "they have a qualified candidate" for the U.S. Senate.
Kyrillos appeared happy with the reception he received by those in attendance, as he met with people from all over the state during the village's annual festival.
They were often asked where they were from. People indicated they were from areas within Atlantic County but others said they were from Monmouth County, Brick Township, and other parts of the Garden State.
Those who spoke with the senator spoke with him on a variety of subjects, including the current business climate and national healthcare. Others simply indicated they liked Kyrillos' commercials; they liked his message or that he had their support in next month's election.