Today Atlantic County Sheriff Frank X. Balles officially announced his candidacy for the New Jersey State Senate seat held by Senator Jim Whelan. Congressman Frank LoBiondo and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean joined Balles in announcing his candidacy to an overflow crowd at Gary's Restaurant in Pleasantville.
"It is because of Gary and so many other hard working business owners throughout Atlantic County, who struggle day in and day out to create jobs, pay taxes, and make our community the place it is, that inspires me to run," Balles said. "Our businesses, our families, and our schools are all facing many challenges right now. Unfortunately, our current senator has proven he simply isn't up for the job. I know we can and must do better. The people of the 2nd District deserve nothing less."
"I talk to customers everyday and many are still struggling to make ends meet," said Gary Field, the owner of Gary's Restaurant. "As former small business owner himself Frank Balles is one of the few people who knows and understands what it takes to balance a budget, create jobs, and put a key in the door every morning."
Balles is a fresh voice for the 2nd Legislative district and identified creating jobs and reenergizing the economy as the primary motivations behind his candidacy. "As I travel throughout our district, I'm tired of seeing boarded up small businesses. It's frustrating seeing strip malls with no anchor stores and once thriving shopping plazas that are now desolate," Balles said.
"I'll go where I have to go, meet with business leaders from other states, and literally recruit jobs here. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with Gov. Christie and Lt. Gov. Guadagno in the fight to bring new businesses to our state and attract more jobs to our district." Prior to his election as Sheriff, Balles spent more than two decades as a police officer in Pleasantville rising through the ranks to Administrative Captain.
In 2008 during his first bid for public office, Balles decisively defeated a 15 year incumbent Sheriff. The more than 58,000 votes Balles received remains the most in the history of Atlantic County government.