It was an emotional night in Vineland as one career in the State Assembly's First District came to an end while another got underway with Senator Jeff Van Drew leading the way.
"Our next assemblyman in the First Legislative District, in the state of New Jersey. Sergeant Robert Andrzejczak! " Said Senator Van Drew.
Minutes after Matt Milam announced his retirement, Robert Andrzejczak of Middle Township, a veteran of two tours in Iraq and recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was formally welcomed to the democratic ticket.
Andrzejczak, who lost his leg in a grenade attack, addressed a room full of supporters.
"I fought for our country so that everyone would have the right to vote, the freedom to express themselves and the freedom to make change," Said Andrzejczak.
"That's why I'm running now. I will fight for this district just as hard as I fought for our country."
Earlier in the evening, Assemblyman Matt Milam, who first joined the assembly in 2008, tearfully announced that he would be retiring effective immediately in order to focus on the business he runs.
"I need to be there for my management team. I am announcing my retirement from the assembly tonight," said Milam.
Fellow Assemblyman Nelson Albano and Senator Van Drew thanked Assemblyman Milam for his service, while voicing their support for Andrzejczak.
"I know for sure there aren't too many assemblyman who received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart," said Senator Van Drew.
"He's going to be a young assemblyman, he's a war hero and is truly going to represent the values of returning veterans."
And as the journey just begins, the 26- year-old Andrzejczak is most looking forward to connecting with the people of the first district.
"Being able to help out everybody," said Andrzejczak.
"Help out returning vets, help people in the district, people in the state. Make it better for everyone that I can."
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