New Jersey Sen. Jim Whelan is disappointed his district will be losing Galloway Township, and that Atlantic County Sheriff’s Officer Cliff Suddler, a Galloway resident, will not be able to run in the upcoming election after viewing the redistricted New Jersey legislative map that was released on Sunday.
Galloway moves from the 2nd district to the 9th district, where it will join Ocean towns from Ocean and Burlington counties. Port Republic, Weymouth, Estell Manor and Corbin City have also been removed from the 2nd district.
“I spoke to Cliff Saturday night and he had already seen it on the Internet,” Whelan, a Democrat, said, referring to the unofficial map that was released Saturday afternoon. “At that point, we were thinking, ‘Where do we go from here?’ We haven’t adjusted fully.”
The Democrats must adjust quickly, however, if they want to have a full slate for their convention Thursday night at the Clarion Hotel in Egg Harbor Township.
“We’ve been working on that (since Sunday),” Whelan said. “We hope to have it resolved in the next day.
“As for Cliff, I hope he continues with his interest in politics. He’s going into the 9th district, which is centered on Ocean County, so it will be tough for him to break through coming in from Atlantic County.”
Somers Point, Buena, Buena Vista and Folsom are now in District 2, meaning that all towns in District 2 are from Atlantic County.
Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina doesn’t see the redistricting as having a significant impact on the election, in which he will challenge Whelan for his seat.
“The total population is less, but it’s the same ratio of Republicans to Democrats,” Polistina said. “The campaign will still be about Sen. Whelan’s record. That doesn’t change. We expect to have a similar campaign.”
The Republicans held their convention Monday night.
The difference in total population is 16,000 people. The district will drop from a population of 232,000 people to 216,000 people.
“I’m not sure it will have a lot of effect on the race, but I hate to lose Galloway,” Whelan said. “It has a relationship with Atlantic City. A lot of Atlantic City’s employees live in Galloway, from the casinos, and some of the people I teach with live in Galloway, but the reality is, Galloway is now a part of the 9th district. … I enjoyed having (The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey) in my district. I have a relationship with the faculty, but the map is what it is, and when districts are overpopulated, the map has to be redrawn. We have to look at this statewide.”
The Republican-leaning Galloway, a township in which six of the seven members of council are from the GOP, moves into a district represented by Christopher Connors, a Republican, who has served as the New Jersey Senate representative since 2008.