McElwee newest addition to council

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Councilman-elect Jim McElwee Councilman-elect Jim McElwee

GALLOWAY – Democrat Jim McElwee defeated Republican Councilman John J. Mooney III for the seat Mooney has held since August, when he was appointed by Galloway Republican County Committee members.

While Mooney’s appointment was controversial – to an unexpired term that is generally filled by a vote of council – Democrat McElwee has been an activist resident since losing a bid for council in 2011.

The unofficial results Tuesday, Nov. 6 were 6,964 for McElwee and 6,265 for Mooney.

McElwee and Mooney were running for the final year of the unexpired Township Council term of Dennis Kleiner, who resigned when he moved to Egg Harbor Township in June.

Township Council twice failed to name a successor for Republican Kleiner from three nominees, and his party’s Atlantic County Committee members selected former Atlantic City Police Chief Mooney to fill the seat until Tuesday’s election.

McElwee was born in Pennsylvania and moved to New Jersey at the age of 16. He is a graduate of Lakewood High School and the Ocean County Vo-Tech Institute.  He and his wife Kerry have lived in Galloway for 15 years and have five adult children and three grandchildren.

He is a supervisor for the South Jersey Transportation Authority at Atlantic City International Airport, responsible for all transportation services including parking and shuttle services. He leads a team of 40 employees.

“We worked hard in this campaign,” McElwee told The Current Wednesday. “I had a lot of support, and I appreciate all of it.”

He said his victory shows what residents are looking for.

“I won by a large enough margin that it tells me the people of Galloway want to move in a certain direction,” McElwee said. “They want people on council willing to work together and get past all the infighting.”

Both sides were worried about the voter turnout, he said.

“I think the large turnout helped us,” McElwee said. “After the storm we thought the confusion of it all might keep voters away. It didn’t. I see that as a positive, that we have civic-minded people coming out to vote.”

He said he’s tried to attend as many functions as possible.

“You get an idea of what’s on people’s minds,” McElwee said. “That way you can do right by them.”

In January, Mayor Don Purdy appointed McElwee to serve on the township Zoning Board.

Since February he has served as a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Team, advocating for quality education.

McElwee said in order for Galloway to be the best community it can be, two things are crucial going forward: ensuring that spending by the township is carefully managed, and bringing new businesses and the resultant ratables and jobs to the community. 

“I would work with members of council to aggressively market Galloway Township to businesses big and small to bring quality jobs and increase our tax base,” McElwee said during the campaign. “I also would work to have a more open and transparent municipality by posting public documents online to provide the residents with more access and eliminating the need for so many costly (Open Public Records Act) requests.”

McElwee becomes the second Democrat on Township Council, joining second-term Councilman Jim Gorman.


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