Friday, January 15, 2016

NJ State Sen. O'Toole announces it's his last rodeo

NJ State Senator Kevin O'Toole  (Star Ledger photo Tony Kurdzuk)

New Jersey Republican State Senator Kevin O'Toole, a staunch defender of Gov. Chris Christie, announced today that he will not seek re-election when his current two-year term ends.

Matt Rooney writes in The Save New Jersey Blog:

(O’Toole’s) 40th Legislative District encompasses portions of Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic counties and includes the towns of Allendale, Cedar Grove, Franklin Lakes, Ho-Ho-Kus, Little Falls, Midland Park, Pequannock, Pompton Lakes, Ridgewood, Riverdale, Totowa, Waldwick, Wayne, Woodland Park, and Wyckoff.

As such, his district has been swept up in the in-fighting that’s dominated both Bergen and Passaic in recent years; last cycle, running mates Asm. David Russo, Asm. Scott Rumana fought off 
a ballot-related legal challenge from Republican opponents. O’Toole endorsement was expected to play a role in the upcoming Bergen Chairman’s contest.

An Irish-Korean American lawyer with the firm of O’Toole Fernandez Weiner Vanlieu LLC who was first elected to the Assembly in 1995 and served 5-terms there before moving up to his current post in 2007, Senator O’Toole is also a long-time staunch Christie political ally who was the lead candidate in a failed post-Election 2013 coup attempt to replace Tom Kean, Jr. as the Republican leader in the State Senate. The veteran Essex Republican lost his own position in the leadership in the fallout.

For now, there’s still two years left for the veteran legislator who, it seems, will wrap up his career in politics to coincide with Christie’s own departure from Trenton. “While I have decided not to seek another term in office, I intend to complete the remainder of my term – which ends in January of 2018,” O’Toole announced.”
Susan K. Livio writes in

O'Toole has served on two of the most influential committees, Senate Budget and Appropriations and Judiciary, which vets judges, prosecutors, cabinet members and justices serving on the state Supreme Court. He said his proudest accomplishments include sponsoring the 2 percent cap on property taxes, tougher penalties on child predators and a ban on dual office-holding.
"When I first ran for office in 1989, at age 24, I never dared dream that I would be fortunate enough to serve the public for 29 years — when my term ends," O'Toole said in his statement.
"As when I voluntarily left the Cedar Grove Town Council after 7 years, the party chairmanship after 12 years, and now 22 years in the Legislature, I believe it is time to create opportunities for the next — younger — generation of dedicated public servants to have their chance to make a difference," he said. 

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