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MacArthur Exploring New Political Terrain, Bids Farewell to Randolph Council

Christopher Renda

Saturday, January 11, 2014 • 1:18pm

RANDOLPH,NJ-Tom MacArthur, who on New Years Day handed over the responsibilities of the mayor’s office to Jim Loveys, resigned from town council on Tuesday, Jan. 7.  He registered ‘Tom MacArthur for Congress Exploratory Committee’ five days before he resigned.  He is transitioning on a permanent basis to a home in Ocean County, as part of his run for Congress in District 3.  Over the past 8 years MacArthur and his family split their time between Ocean County and Randolph.

He has also left a Vice-Chairmanship in the Republican Party of Randolph, and his role in the Randolph Republican County Committee behind.

MacArthur, heeding the call of higher office, is saying farewell to a retinue of colleague co-workers in Randolph town government, and he spoke at length about the esteem he has for them.  “Serving as a Councilman and Mayor of Randolph, our home of 20 years, has been among the greatest privileges of my life,” he wrote in his resignation letter, addressed to Mayor Loveys.  “Serving with you, our Council colleagues and our very capable Township Manager and staff have added great happiness to that privilege.  You are a wonderful group of people and I know Randolph is in great hands.”

His replacement on town council will be a two-step process.  First, the Randolph Republican County Committee must convene and decide on three candidates; they must submit their recommendation to the Town Council within fifteen days of MacArthur’s Jan. 7 resignation. Mayor Loveys and the town council have 30 days from when the seat was vacated to decide which of those three candidates should fill the seat. 

 MacArthur says he is aware of the pool of candidates being considered, and has “faith in the County Committee, and its chair, Trina Mitch, as well as the Mayor and the council, to make the ultimate decision.”

MacArthur is starting a team.  Ron Gravino, a campaign treasurer to Gov. Christie and to Congressman Runyan (who is vacating the CD3 seat at the end of his term), has signed on with MacArthur’s exploratory committee.

“Now,” he said, “I’m going wherever I’m invited to go.”  Over the last couple of weeks he has been meeting with Republican officials in South Jersey.  The Ocean County Victory Party afforded an early opportunity to talk with local Republican higher-ups, in December.  Last Saturday he met with the Burlington County Steering Committee, a group that will determine the strategy of the Republican ticket going forward, and on Wednesday he was in Washington all day, in talks with the National Republican Congressional Committee.

 “I have talked to people about the things that have shaped my life and the things I want to do in Congress, and the reception has been very good, very open,” he said. 

“The district is much like Randolph:  Filled with hard working people who believe in our government, who want government to be helpful without being obtrusive, and it would be my honor to represent them in Washington."

 Exploring is the key word in this phase and he doesn't spend time thinking about possible future opponents.  According to MacArthur, “There are other people interested in the seat and each brings their own unique attributes to the table, but my concern is not potential opponents.  My entire focus is on introducing myself to party leaders and voters so they can make an informed decision," he said.

 “I have been deeply committed for years to the region comprising the third congressional district; I understand and care about what matters to the people and I believe I could represent them well in Congress.”

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