John P. Kelly (New Jersey)

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John P. Kelly is an American Republican Party politician who serves on the Board of Chosen Freeholders in Ocean County, New Jersey. Kelly has been in various county government positions for more than 13 years and in municipal offices in his home town of Eagleswood Township for more than 15.

Kelly unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for the United States House of Representatives in New Jersey's 3rd congressional district in 2008.

Kelly led in getting approval for the expansion of the Ocean County Police Academy in Ocean County Park, Lakewood and the construction of the Fire and First Aid Training Center in Waretown.

Freeholder Kelly, who served as Mayor of Eagleswood Township, has been recognized by numerous agencies, including the New Jersey Juvenile Detention Association and the Chiefs of Police of New Jersey, which twice named him Public Official of the Year.

During the Laurel Hester controversy, Kelly stated in 2005 that allowing homosexual public employees to pass their pensions on to domestic partners would violate the sanctity of marriage. This came after Hester asked Ocean County leadership to change the policy and allow her to pass her pension onto her domestic partner, as Hester was dying from rapidly advancing lung cancer.[1]


  1. ^ Cave, Damien. "Gay Officer, Dying, Is Pulled Into Rights Issue", The New York Times, November 24, 2005. Accessed December 9, 2007. "She first made her request to county officials last fall, soon after doctors discovered her cancer. But only last week did Ocean County freeholders respond. And after one board member, John P. Kelly, told The Asbury Park Press that the board had denied Ms. Hester's request because it would violate "the sanctity of marriage," she was reluctantly thrown into the glare of public scrutiny."

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