SOUTH AMBOY –This week, John O’Leary announced his bid to represent the 19th Legislative District in Trenton. The South Amboy mayor will challenge assemblymen Joseph Vas and John Wisniewski for the Middlesex Democratic Committee’s endorsement on March 25.
But O’Leary was clear to point out that he’s not running against Vas or Wisniewski. Instead, he’s campaigning to make New Jersey more affordable – for both residents and businesses.
“Anyone who owns a home or rents an apartment knows the problems in New Jersey,” O’Leary said. Rising property taxes – among the highest in the nation, high utility costs and high insurance costs are making it increasingly unaffordable to live in the state, the mayor said.
“New Jersey has the advantages of its location, its transportation system and a strong workforce,” O’Leary said. “But high taxes, utilities and insurance costs make New Jersey a very unfriendly place for business.”
New Jersey was ranked 50th by a small-business and entrepreneurship council in terms of business-friendliness. “That’s a concern,” O’Leary said.
“The state needs to begin to focus on how to be competitive,” the mayor said. “I want to improve the business climate.”
O’Leary also pledged to put an end to one-shot revenue gimmicks that offset tax increases for one year, but then put future generations in further debt if he is elected. “We have to start living within our means,” he said.
The mayor said affordable quality health insurance and a competitive and renewable energy market are concerns.
Vas said that the current legislative team has done a good job representing the 19th District, which includes Carteret, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy and Woodbridge. “We have an outstanding legislative team. But we have a process in Middlesex County. No one has entitlement to re-election,” said Vas.
Wisniewski said, “I support the strongest possible grass roots democracy. That’s why, as I have always believed, the selection of candidates is a job for our 19th District elected Democratic county committee members.”
O’Leary has been re-elected five times as South Amboy’s mayor. During his 23-year tenure, his administration has launched multi-million dollar initiatives that have made South Amboy a better place to live and work, as well as generating revenue to stabilize property taxes over the long-term.