RANDOLPH, NJ - Mayor Tom MacArthur, whose year as top man in town government is coming to a close, has thrown his hat in the ring, announcing he will run for a seat in Congress.
After years of service to Randolph, MacArthur is poised to relocate to his Ocean County residence of eight years, where he will run on the Republican ticket for a seat in Congressional District 3.
As someone who retired from his career early in life, he began devoting himself to his community, focusing his efforts on local government as a way of giving back.
At the cusp of his mayoral term, he says he’s proud of fostering a high level of professionalism within the police department with the promotion of Chief David Stokoe this summer; the continued trend toward increased open spaces; and Randolph’s continued financial strength and moderate tax rates relative to the rest of Morris County. But, “these are ‘we’ accomplishments, not ‘me’ accomplishments,” he said. “These are accomplishments of the council and the staff as well.”
“I’m very pleased with the 90 acres; those 90 acres were locked up for over a decade in disputes and we were able to bring the parties together. That didn’t just happen,” he said. This accomplishment came after a series of meetings and negotiations over the parcel of land on Calais Road and, “at no cost to our taxpayers, we now have 90 acres of open space and that means all kinds of opportunities.” For the future, the mayor said, “I’d like to see a public pool in Randolph that all our residents can enjoy.”
Deputy-Mayor James Loveys said of the mayor, “Randolph Township and its residents were well-served with Tom at the helm. He works extremely hard, articulates his views, has a finger on the pulse of the issues, and as was the case in Randolph, chooses to run for the right reasons.”
Township Manager John Lovell, who worked closely alongside MacArthur, said, “I would rank him as one of the best elected officials that I have had the pleasure to serve, and I do not hesitate in my hopes that he will succeed in his quest to become a member of Congress.”
Life in the public sector and in town government has taught Mayor MacArthur lessons that will come in handy where he is going. “When I think about running for Congress, business helped me answer the question of what is important, and being in town government for the last three years has taught me how to get things done in government,” MacArthur said.
MacArthur’s priorities on the road to Washington will include job creation, New Jersey’s need for federal tax money to restore worn-out infrastructure, defense and national security. “We need to get more federal dollars back into our state to update infrastructure…It will create jobs, and it’s something I intend to fight for,” he said.
Another focus will be the environment and tourism industry at the Jersey shore. He added that restoring our moral fiber, as a nation is a core priority. “There is a very important balance between self-reliance and having compassion and offering help for people that are really in need, and I think our federal government needs to regain that balance.”
The nonprofit foundation MacArthur runs with his wife, Debbie, In God’s Hands Charitable Foundation (IGH), has administered a range of projects, and will continue to be a part of his life. Since 2005, IGH has helped wounded veterans and their families, sent aid to disaster areas like the Philippines, run a program to distribute more than 1,600 wheelchairs free of charge, and more. After Sandy, he teamed IGH with his church in Barnegat Light – St. Peter’s at the Light – to create the Sandy Relief Fund, which helped local families displaced by the storm.
MacArthur and his wife have two children, a daughter who will graduate high school at the end of the next school year and an adult son. “I talked to my wife and children before I decided to run and they all encouraged me to do it,” he said, adding that his children are old enough now that he is comfortable with running at this time.
He said the following about being chosen as mayor: “I felt honored. I felt responsible to make sure I did a good job,” adding, “We have a really strong town council and in part it’s because no one person dominates. We take our turns in leadership and as a result we have a group of people who work well together and are all capable leaders.”