Five months before he was planning to retire, New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan has died after suffering a heart attack at his Atlantic City home.
State officials are remembering him as a dedicated public servant.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg says Whelan was a role model for lawmakers.
“He seemed to be able to be part of the team, be part of the unified effort, and yet signal out the things that were important to him even if it was going against the tide a bit. He was an eminently decent man, full of integrity.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney says Whelan was an effective legislator and a major advocate for Atlantic City.
“You’re seeing Atlantic City starting to really turn itself around and it’s because Jim Whelan didn’t take the political posturing. He took the tough stance in support of the takeover of Atlantic City’s government. He didn’t take any passes on anything. Whenever there was a tough issue Jim Whelan didn’t sit on the sidelines. He was always willing to step up.”
Governor Christie says Atlantic City’s current comeback is due in no small part to Whelan’s efforts and passion.
While he didn’t always agree with him on policy, Christie says Whelan was a forthright and honest leader who was always willing to listen.