David Wolfe, who has represented Ocean County’s tenth legislative district in the state Assembly for 26 years, will retire after his current term, he announced today.
Wolfe, a Brick Township resident who served on the township council there from 1975 to 199, made a significant impact during his quarter-century in the legislature’s lower chamber, authoring the bill that created the state’s Blue Acres program and led the effort to fund the cleanup of Barnegat Bay and the Shore area after Superstorm Sandy. He also served as chairman of the Assembly Education Committee and Vice Chairman for the Joint Legislative Committee on the Public Schools when his Republican party held a majority in the legislature.
He said in a statement that representing the district has been “one of the greatest honors of my life” and thanked his wife, Carole, for her support.
“I have been fortunate to have never lost an election since 1991, and I am confident that I still have the support of my constituents,” he said. “However, I have decided that I will not be filing for re-election in 2019. I think it is time for me to be more involved in the lives of my family members, and I am looking forward to spending more time with them. I will continue to serve my district until my term ends next January.”
Wolfe also thanked his current legislative colleagues, fellow Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin and Sen. James Holzapfel, as well as his former running mates, retired state Sen. Andrew Ciesla and Assemblywoman Virginia Haines, who is now an Ocean County freeholder.
“I have had the honor to serve alongside Dave since 1995 and during those years I have witnessed his passion and dedication to the people of our district and the State of New Jersey,” said Holzapfel. “His public service cannot be measured by bills passed and votes cast but rather by his commitment to the real needs of the people of New Jersey. He is a great colleague who I am proud to call my friend and a man who represented nearly a quarter of a million people with dignity and integrity at all times.”
“When I first joined the Assembly, Dave mentored me and assisted me during my first few years in Trenton,” said McGuckin. “Many people don’t know that my relationship with Dave goes back a generation when he supported my father for Mayor of Brick Township in the late 1960s. That is something that me, nor my family, will [ever] forget. Dave will be missed not only by myself, Jim and our legislative staff but most importantly he will be missed by the residents of the 10th Legislative District.”
A new Assembly member will be elected in November, following a primary election in June. The 10th district is overwhelmingly populated by Republicans, but has a bipartisan history, having elected Democrats Marlene Lynch Ford, John F. Russo and John Paul Doyle to seats in both chambers over the years.