HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Jane Staats and Harrison “Harry” Burke will be the Democratic candidates for the Hillsborough Township Committee, receiving the unanimous endorsement of the Hillsborough Democratic Organization (HDO) at their recent nomination meeting.
“The HDO is proud to stand behind Jane Staats and Harry Burke,” said John Beggiato, chairman. “We believe that Jane and Harry have already demonstrated a strong commitment to the community and will bring fresh, new ideas to Hillsborough.”
Staats has lived for over thirty years in Hillsborough, where she and her husband Gregory raised their son Wayne, who is now a sportswriter. She received her bachelor's degree from La Salle University in Philadelphia and her master’s degree at Rutgers University. She is a recently retired public school teacher and taught mathematics for 32 years, 18 of which were at Hillsborough High School (HHS).
Her passion for teaching grew from her desire to contribute to society, as well as her enjoyment of mathematics and literature. Jane continues to tutor high school students in mathematics. She has volunteered in many capacities. For example, fulfilling an unaddressed need, she took the initiative to create and facilitate a smoking cessation group for the students at HHS. Also a scenic artist, Jane has created set designs and marquees as a volunteer for the Somerset Valley Players and HHS Theater.
At Mary Mother of God Parish, Jane participates in volunteer activities including the Arts and Environment Committee, where she decorates the church throughout the year, and Children’s Liturgy, which she facilitates. She thoroughly enjoys the children’s enthusiasm and her colleagues’ passion and support.
Burke was born and raised in Hillsborough Township. He received his bachelor's degree in government and politics from St. John's University; he is currently enrolled at Rutgers University, where he is pursuing his master’s degree in Political Science: United Nations and Global Policy studies.
He was actively involved in varsity sports (basketball, baseball and lacrosse) in school, and played lacrosse at St. John’s, a Division 1 team. He worked at various programs for children and adults with disabilities, including ARC of Somerset County, Camp HEART of Hillsborough Recreation Department, and Meals on Wheels.
In high school, he traveled to Uganda in East Africa, where he assisted building a home for a family of seven, coached lacrosse to youth, and participated in other various projects throughout that country.
Both candidates are extremely passionate about community engagement. Regardless of their own circumstances, throughout their lives, they have demonstrated their capacities for listening and compassion. They have been strong advocates for a variety of issues and want to bring their advocacy skills to the betterment of our town.
“By promoting transparency and open communication, residents’ concerns could finally be addressed,” said Staats.
“Our residents have great ideas, and I am ready to actively pursue a more cohesive community dynamic and a vibrant economy in Hillsborough,” said Burke. “Participation in politics and government, especially at the local level, is the oldest tradition in American history and should never be taken for granted.”