Jim Whelan

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Jim Whelan
Sen Whelan HQ headshot.jpg
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 2nd district
In office
January 8, 2008 – August 22, 2017
Preceded by James J. McCullough
Succeeded by Colin Bell
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 2nd district
In office
January 10, 2006 – January 8, 2008
Serving with Francis J. Blee
Preceded by Kirk W. Conover
Succeeded by John F. Amodeo
Vincent J. Polistina
Mayor of Atlantic City
In office
January 1, 1990 – December 31, 2001
Preceded by James L. Usry
Succeeded by Lorenzo Langford
Member of the Atlantic City Council
In office
January 1, 1982 – December 31, 1989
Personal details
Born (1948-11-08)November 8, 1948
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died August 22, 2017(2017-08-22) (aged 68)
Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathy Whelan
Residence Atlantic City
Alma mater B.A Temple University (English Education)
M.Ed Temple University
Occupation Teacher
Website Legislative web page

Jim Whelan (November 8, 1948 – August 22, 2017) was an American Democratic Party politician, who served in the New Jersey State Senate where he represented the 2nd Legislative District, from January 8, 2008, until his death.

Early life[edit]

Whelan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended Temple University where he became a nationally ranked distance swimmer before a broken leg in his senior year cut short his career. His achievements, however, ultimately led to his induction in the Temple University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. He received a M.Ed. from Temple University.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1977, Whelan took a job in the Atlantic City School District. During this time - on a volunteer basis - he helped coach the Atlantic City High School swim team. In 1978, to draw publicity for a bid to restore the Around the Island Swim[2] (a 22.5 mile open-water swimming race around Absecon Island), Whelan did the race solo.[3]

Four years later, he made his first foray into politics, making an unsuccessful run for the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1980. The following year, he won election to the Atlantic City Council, in 1981, and was re-elected in 1985. He won the mayor's office in a landslide in 1989. Whelan served three terms as Mayor of Atlantic City.[1]

Whelan was elected president of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors[citation needed].

Following a defeat at the hands of Lorenzo T. Langford in 2001, Whelan returned to teaching. He also served on the board of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority.

Whelan was elected to the Assembly in November 2005, unseating Republican Kirk W. Conover, who had held the seat since 2003 in this Republican-leaning district.[4]

In 2007, Whelan won his bid for a seat in the New Jersey Senate, defeating Republican Party incumbent James J. McCullough.[5]

Whelan won re-election in November 2011, defeating Assemblyman Vincent J. Polistina in the state's most expensive race, with more than $3 million spent by both candidates.[6] In the 2013 election, Whelan defeated Atlantic County Sheriff Frank X. Balles 55%–45%.[7]

Whelan served in the Senate on the State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee (as Chair); the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee; and the Economic Growth Committee.[1]

On January 4, 2017, Whelan announced that he was planning to retire as Senator.[8]

District 2[edit]

Each of the 40 legislative districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one Senator and two members of the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 2nd Legislative District for the 2016-2017 (217th) Legislative Session are:[9]

Election history[edit]

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Whelan (incumbent) 29,333 55.0%
Republican Frank X. Balles 24,006 45.0%
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[11]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Whelan (incumbent) 24,075 53.4%
Republican Vincent J. Polistina 20,997 46.6%
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2007[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Whelan 27,913 57.1%
Republican James J. McCullough (incumbent) 21,003 42.9%
Democratic gain from Republican

Death[edit]

Whelan died on August 22, 2017 at age 68 from a heart attack at his home in Atlantic City.[13] Whelan is survived by his wife, Kathy Whelan and his son Richard Whelan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Senator Whelan's Legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed December 28, 2016.
  2. ^ http://db.marathonswimmers.org/events/atlantic-city-around-the-island-swim/
  3. ^ http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/communities/atlantic-city_pleasantville_brigantine/everyone-has-a-story-avalon-summer-resident-swims-around-absecon/article_3f9c4172-f7d0-11e2-bef3-0019bb2963f4.html
  4. ^ Barlas, Thomas. "2ND DISTRICT ASSEMBLY / WHELAN GOING TO TRENTON / ABSENTEE BALLOTS MAY DETERMINE WHO WILL JOIN HIM", The Press of Atlantic City, November 9, 2005. Accessed August 8, 2007. "Unofficial vote totals show Whelan with 27,456 votes. Blee was in second place with 26,433 votes, and Democrat Damon Tyner was in third place with 24,162 votes. Conover brought up the rear with 21,666 votes."
  5. ^ Tamari, Jonathan. "Beck wins; Dems control both houses", Asbury Park Press, November 6, 2007. Accessed November 6, 2007. "Democrats, however, won two Senate seats in other traditionally Republican districts with victories by Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, and Assemblyman Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, who ousted Sen. Nicholas Asselta, R-Cumberland, and Sen. James Sonny McCullough, R-Atlantic."
  6. ^ Dopp, Terence; and Young, Elise. "Christie Says Election ‘No Big Shocker,’ Blames Political Map", Bloomberg Businessweek, November 9, 2011. Accessed January 7, 2012. "Senator Jim Whelan, a Democrat from Atlantic City who voted for the pension package, beat Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina, 54 percent to 46 percent.... The Whelan-Polistina race was the most expensive in the state, with $3.8 million raised and $3.2 million spent through Oct. 25, election records show."
  7. ^ Bellano, Anthony (November 5, 2013). "New Jersey Election 2013: Incumbent Whelan Fends Off Balles". Galloway Patch. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  8. ^ Huba, Nicholas (January 4, 2017). "State Senator Jim Whelan will not seek re-election". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved August 23, 2017. 
  9. ^ Legislative Roster 2016-2017 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed December 28, 2016.
  10. ^ "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2015 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  11. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed January 7, 2012.
  12. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2007 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 3, 2007. Accessed June 21, 2012.
  13. ^ Jackson, Vincent; Huba, Nicholas (August 23, 2017). "Sen. Jim Whelan suffered heart attack at Atlantic City home". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved August 23, 2017. 

External links[edit]

New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
James J. McCullough
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 2nd district

January 8, 2008 – August 22, 2017
Succeeded by
Colin Bell
New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Kirk W. Conover
Member of the New Jersey Assembly
from the 2nd district

January 10, 2006 – January 8, 2008
Served alongside: Francis J. Blee
Succeeded by
John F. Amodeo
Vincent J. Polistina
Political offices
Preceded by
James L. Usry
Mayor of Atlantic City
1990–2001
Succeeded by
Lorenzo T. Langford