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This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "'''"Jim + Whelan" + New Jersey + Senate'''"
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Revision as of 10:02, 3 July 2013

Jim Whelan
Jim Whelam.jpg
New Jersey State Senate District 2
In office
Term ends
January 10, 2014
Years in position 7
Base salary$49,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
First electedNovember 6, 2007
Next generalNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
New Jersey General Assembly
Mayor, Atlantic City
Master'sTemple University
Date of birthNovember 8, 1948
Office website
Campaign website
Jim Whelan is a Democratic member of the New Jersey Senate, representing District 2. He was first elected to the chamber in 2008. Bills that have been sponsored by Senator Whelan include Senate Bill 96 and Senate Bill 119.[1][2] He currently serves as the chair of the Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Senate Committee.

Whelan served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2006 to 2007.


Whelan graduated from Temple University with a B.A and M. Ed. in English Education. He is a teacher at Martin Luther King School. Whelan was the mayor of Atlantic City from 1990 to 2001 and was a member of the Atlantic City Council from 1982 to 1990.


Campaign themes


The District 2 Democratic campaign site lists five key policy positions:[3]

  • Taxes: "Provide real tax relief to overburdened seniors and middle-class families by ending tax cuts for multi-millionaires and restoring seniors' property tax rebates."
  • Leadership: "Provide independent leadership by working across party lines with the Governor to fix Trenton while standing up to him on policies that hurt seniors and middle-class families."
  • Spending: "End the government spending spree with a freeze on state spending, independent audits of every department and public pension reforms."
  • Political perks: "Slash taxpayer-funded political perks including free EZ-passes, housing allowances, luxury cars and luxury boxes at sports events for politicos and bureaucrats."
  • Jobs: "Attract new business and jobs to New Jersey by providing competitive tax incentives, improving access to start-up capital, and eliminating roadblocks like bureaucratic red tape."

The Real Record of Jim Whelan, attack ad from Atlantic County GOP

Jim Whelan:A Record of Service campaign ad

2nd District debate

On September 15, the District 2 Senate candidates took part in a debate sponsored by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy and The Press of Atlantic City.

  • The full, hour-long debate can be found here.
  • The Assembly candidates' debate can be found here.

Committee assignments


In the 2010-2011 legislative session, Whelan served on these committees:



See also: New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013

Whelan ran in the 2013 election for New Jersey State Senate District 2. Whelan was unopposed in the June 4 Democratic primary and is challenged by Frank Balles (R) in the general election which takes place on November 5, 2013.[4]


See also: New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011

Whelan won re-election to the District 2 Senate seat in the 2011 election. He was unopposed for the June 7 Democratic primary. Whelan defeated Assemblyman Vincent Polistina (R) in the general election which took place on November 8, 2011. Lorenzo Langford (I) was a candidate for the seat but withdrew on September 20.[5]

New Jersey State Senate District 2 General Election, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim Whelan Incumbent 53.4% 24,075
     Republican Vincent Polistina 46.6% 20,997
Total Votes 45,072


Asbury Park Press

District 2 is one of only three districts that the Asbury Park Press identified as competitive in 2011. The other two are Districts 14 and 38. Districts 2 and 38 may lean more Republican after 2011 redistricting, and District 14 may still favor Democrats. As evidence, they cite a drop in registered Democrats in Districts 2 and 38, and only a small decrease in registered Democrats in District 14. History has shown, argues APP, that districts where Democrats hold less than a 10,000 registered voter advantage typically favor the GOP. The Democratic registration advantage in District 2 is roughly 9,200 (down from 11,000).[6]

NJ Spotlight

With assembly incumbent Vincent Polistina (R) choosing to run for the State Senate, NJ Spotlight has identified the District 2 as a potential place for the GOP to lose a seat in the Assembly. Following redistricting, the District 2 gained Democratic communities, losing Republican Galloway Township and picking up Democratic Somers Point, Buena and Buena Vista.[7]

Courier Post

On June 7, Lorenzo Langford made the decision to run in the 2011 Senate race as an Independent. In the past, Langford has identified with the Democratic Party, defeating then incumbent mayor Jim Whelan in 2001, Langford's third attempt at unseating him. It is speculated that if Lorenzo remains in the race, Whelan will likely lose. Langford claims that he is a serious candidate stating his extreme dissatisfaction with Senator Whelan's vote on S11 (Atlantic City Tourism District).[8]

Others view Langford as a "spoiler" candidate. Whelan's campaign manager, Justin Myers, claims that candidate Vincent Polistina (R) recruited Langford to help split the Democratic vote. Both Langford and Polistina have denied working together to adversely affect the election. Langford has said that if he were to drop out of the race, he would likely throw his support behind Polistina.[8][9]

Langford ultimately decided to withdraw from the race on September 20, 2011. Langford declined to make a formal endorsement but stated his intention to vote for Vincent Polistina (R). Langford also stated his intention to "list the many instances that speak to Jim Whelan’s ineptness as mayor, as well as those occasions when he betrayed Atlantic City residents and sold us out."[10]


In 2007 Whelan was elected to the New Jersey State Senate District 2. Whelan (D) finished with 27,913 votes while his opponent James McCullough (R) finished with 21,013 votes.[11] Whelan raised $112,606 for his campaign fund.[12]

New Jersey State Senate District 2
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Jim Whelan (D) 27,913
James McCullough (R) 21,013

Campaign donors


In 2011, Whelan received $1,547,564 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[13]

New Jersey State Senate 2011 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Jim Whelan's campaign in 2011
Whelan For Senate Cooper & Tyner For Assembly$716,500
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 322$16,500
Electrical Workers Local 351$16,400
New Jersey Regional Council Of Carpenters$16,400
New Jersey State Laborers$9,700
Total Raised in 2011 $1,547,564
Total Votes received in 2011 24,705
Cost of each vote received $62.64

District 2 tops fundraising

As of October 25, candidates for District 2 raised $3,762,118--according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. This made District 2 number one in fundraising for the year.[14]


In 2007, Whelan collected $112,606 in donations.[15]

Listed below are the five largest contributors to his campaign.

Donor Amount
Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee of New Jersey $15,897
New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters $10,700
Leaders Fund $8,200
Parker McCay & Criscuolo $2,600
Jingoli Jr., Joseph R. $2,500



State leaders pick sides in District 2

Several powerful state leaders have expressed support for their chosen candidates in District 2. Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D) and Chairman of the state Democratic Committee John Wisniewski (D) have personally endorsed the Democratic ticket in District 2, attending a rally in support of the candidates. The Republican candidates have garnered the support of Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), who attended an event for GOP campaign staff in District 2. The visits further highlight the importance of the district in November's election.[16]

District 2

Whelan represents New Jersey Senate District 2, which includes the Northfield, New Jersey area.[17]

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Whelan and his wife, Kathy, have one child.

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Political offices
Preceded by
New Jersey State Senate District 2
Succeeded by