Atlantic County Sheriff Frank X. Balles announced he would be running for the 2nd District Senate seat at Gary's Restaurant in Pleasantville Monday afternoon.
Sheriff Balles was joined by his family, Congressman Frank Lobiondo, and fellow Republican state officials for today's announcement.
Congressman Lobiondo said, "You want to see the commitment to getting results. You want to see somebody who is people oriented. You want to see somebody that folks sitting around the kitchen table can relate to...that's Frank!"
While speaking at Gary's on Monday, Sheriff Balles announced some of his campaign goals and how he hopes to beat Democratic incumbent, Jim Whelan, who has been the 2nd District Senator since November of 2008.
Balles explained, "This campaign is really going to be about jobs and businesses, and like I said, as we travel throughout this district there are so many boarded up small businesses and shopping plazas that are desolate - this is a thing that we need to change."
Gary's Restaurant brought out close to 200 people Monday night, all supporting Frank Balles' run for state Senate. Many residents we spoke with said that his experience as Atlantic County Sheriff will definitely be an asset to his campaign.
Owner of the restaurant, Gary Field, told NBC40, "He's a tremendous organizer and he's also a very good administrator - he has a lot of experience with that."
Sergeant Herbert Simons of the Pleasantville Police Department said, "He's very people oriented - very community oriented. He is in touch with what the community needs so I believe that will equate into a great Senator."
Monday's announcement officially marked the start of Balles' campaign. Sheriff Balles said, "Everything is immediate. You see the website up on the signs? The website will be clicked ‘on' right after this announcement is over and we will be out knocking on doors and talking to people starting tomorrow."
The election for the state Senate seat will be this November.