Jim Whelan

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For the Australian rules footballer, see Jim Whelan (footballer).
Jim Whelan
Sen Whelan HQ headshot.jpg
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 2nd district
Assumed office
January 8, 2008
Preceded by James J. McCullough
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 2nd district
In office
January 10, 2006 – January 8, 2008
Preceded by Kirk W. Conover
Succeeded by John F. Amodeo
Mayor of Atlantic City
In office
January 1, 1990 – December 31, 2001
Preceded by James L. Usry
Succeeded by Lorenzo Tyrone Langford
Member of the Atlantic City Council
In office
January 1, 1982 – December 31, 1989
Personal details
Born (1948-11-08) November 8, 1948 (age 68)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathy
Residence Atlantic City
Alma mater B.A Temple University (English Education)
M.Ed Temple University
Occupation Teacher
Website Legislative web page

Jim Whelan (born November 8, 1948) is an American Democratic Party politician, who serves in the New Jersey State Senate where he represents the 2nd legislative district, having taken office on January 8, 2008.

Early life[edit]

Whelan was born in Philadelphia 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. 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.[2]

In 2007, Whelan won his bid for a seat in the New Jersey Senate, defeating Republican Party incumbent James J. McCullough.[3]

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.[4] In the 2013 election, Whelan defeated Atlantic County Sheriff Frank X. Balles 55%–45%.[5]

Whelan serves 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 Januaary 3, 2017, Whelan announced that he will retire as Senator.[6]

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:[7]

Election history[edit]

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[8]
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[9]
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[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Whelan 27,913 57.1
Republican James J. McCullough (incumbent) 21,003 42.9
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ a b c Senator Whelan's Legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed December 28, 2016.
  2. ^ 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."
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ 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."
  5. ^ Bellano, Anthony (November 5, 2013). "New Jersey Election 2013: Incumbent Whelan Fends Off Balles". Galloway Patch. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Legislative Roster 2016-2017 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed December 28, 2016.
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed January 7, 2012.
  10. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2007 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 3, 2007. Accessed June 21, 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
James L. Usry
Mayor of Atlantic City
Succeeded by
Lorenzo T. Langford