It’s going to be an interesting primary season for Republicans in the 25th District. Freeholder Director Bill Chegwidden made it official on Wednesday–he is taking on the incumbent, state Sen. Anthony Bucco .
The challenger made the announcement at Mennen Arena, where he was introduced by Freeholder John Murphy.
Bill Chegwidden was elected to the freeholder board in 2006. He also serves as Wharton mayor, and teaches history at Morris Knolls High School. Here is the statement from his campaign:
FROM FREEHOLDER BILL CHEGWIDDEN:
Freeholder Bill Chegwidden Announces Candidacy for New Jersey State Senate
Morristown – April 20, 2011 – In front of his family and supporters, Freeholder Bill Chegwidden formally announced his candidacy for New Jersey State Senate at Mennen Arena. Introduced by his Campaign Chairman, Freeholder John Murphy, Chegwidden announced his campaign platform by stating, “I am not here to tell you what I am going to do once elected, I’m here to tell you what I am going to continue to do to benefit the taxpayers of New Jersey”.
Chegwidden pledged to bring creative conservative leadership to Trenton, by finding collaborative solutions to the problems that affect his fellow taxpayers in the 25th District.
In announcing his support, Freeholder Murphy cited Chegwidden’s experience in reforming government, cutting spending and creating jobs on the local and county level. Chegwidden cited all three of these issues as priorities in his campaign to lead the NJ Senate in the 25th District.
According to Chegwidden, “I have always been dedicated to providing the most efficient government at the least cost to the taxpayer, however, legislative inaction has kept us from bringing these innovations state-wide. I am proud of bringing creative solutions to the communities I serve, increasing services and saving tax dollars – all while maintaining the highest standards of ethical, honest conduct. That is why I have filed to run for the New Jersey State Senate in the Republican Primary to be held Tuesday, June 7.
“During my 15-year career in public service, I have consistently worked to maximize savings. As a mayor, I was one of the first in the state of New Jersey to merge police departments. When this proved successful, we then initiated a merger of five courts. Each of these consolidations saved the taxpayers millions of dollars each year. In addition, the debt ratio in my town has been reduced by more than 60 percent since I became Mayor.
“As a freeholder, I collaborated to initiate a solar program that will save 37 percent – a total of $3.8 million; the second phase, to be instituted later this year, is expected to save 75 percent. (Mennen Arena, where Chegwidden announced his candidacy today, recently had solar panels installed, and is already realizing savings.) On the county level, we have made the difficult choices needed to keep our budget and taxes under control, and have managed to reduce the tax levy for the last three consecutive years.
“We brought in private consultants to manage Morris View Nursing Home, reducing spending from $14,000,000 to $4,000,000 – a $10,000,000 savings. We have also successfully cut the Morris County workforce by 15 percent over 5 years – with no layoffs.
“Working with the Christie administration to further job creation, we have initiated a business development group, led by Freeholder Margaret Nordstrom, that has helped to create an “early warning system” to keep Honeywell’s jobs in Morris County.”
Chegwidden said that he believed that his greatest legacy to the County of Morris will be minimizing government spending and taxes, while encouraging the creation of well-paid private sector jobs. Freeholder Chegwidden is anxious to bring this record of success to the state. “Governor Christie has begun to turn the tide,” said Chegwidden, “but to continue to move forward, he needs assistance in accelerating real statewide reforms that will create lasting change.
Chegwidden recognizes the importance of not only sponsoring bills requested by Governor Christie, but also having a legislator that will act as a partner to continue to innovate and initiate changes that will make our state affordable and business-friendly. Legislators are needed that have experience with programs that move the Governor’s agenda forward by building ground up grassroots support. Chegwidden’s experience will bring this type of leadership to the NJ Senate for the 25th District.
With his family, including his mother, wife and three children present (one daughter, a Rutgers Student, via the internet on Skype from Germany where she is studying for the semester), Chegwidden stated, “my wife Shelly and I want to be confident that our three children will not have to move to another state to be able afford a home, or find a good job. Please join us in our campaign to help Governor Christie take back the state of New Jersey.”
To the cheers of the crowd, including many elected officials and supporters from his home county of Morris and from his home town of Wharton, Chegwidden encouraged supporters to join his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter, or visit his website, ChegwiddenSenate.Com.
Chegwidden concluded, “I would be honored for you to join us in this grassroots effort to help take back New Jersey, and to help enable a new breed of Republicans –prepared to bring the reforms we need to cut government costs and to stimulate private sector jobs – to serve in the 25th District of New Jersey. Please join my campaign to change New Jersey. My name is Bill Chegwidden, Republican for Senate and I would be honored to have your vote. Thank you!”
Bill Chegwidden and his wife Shelly are raising three children in Morris County where Bill has built two successful businesses. As a father, coach and teacher, he has taught young people the importance of personal responsibility and respect for their community. As a Mayor and Freeholder, Chegwidden has consistently fulfilled his duty to provide the best service at the lowest cost.