ELIZABETH – New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20), Elizabeth’s Mayor Chris Bollwage, spoke out in support of the announcement made by Roselle mayor Jamel Holley who decided to campaign for Assembly in the 20th Legislative District, a seat that was vacated by Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan.

“I have known Jamel Holley for many years and he is one of the brightest, most dynamic young leaders in our Democratic party,” said Senator Lesniak. “Jamel displays a real passion for helping people and supporting our state’s working families and he has all the skills and experience necessary to be an outstanding legislator.”

Holley who is 35years has been Mayor of Roselle since 2011. If elected, or appointed to the seat, Holley would be the youngest African American legislator currently serving in Trenton. He would also become the first African American to ever represent the 20th district, which includes Elizabeth, Hillside, Roselle and Union. 

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“When you look at Roselle you see a borough on the rise with a great future, and that is directly attributable to Jamel Holley and the policies his administration has put into place,” said Mayor Bollwage. “Now Jamel is bringing his energy and commitment to progress to the state legislature and I am excited to work with him for the benefit of Elizabeth and our entire area.”

Sheriff Joe Cryan and the Township of Union Democratic Committee also later released statements showing their support to Holley.

"Jamel Holley and I worked very closely together when I was representing the 20th legislative district in the Assembly and I know him to be one of the hardest working mayors in New Jersey," said Sheriff Cryan.  "Over the last weeks I've had the opportunity to speak with a number of community leaders throughout Union Township and the 20th legislative district and they have all voiced their support for Mayor Holley's candidacy. There is critically important work to be done in Trenton on behalf of Union Township and people throughout the district and I'm confident that, as a member of the General Assembly, Jamel will fight every day to put taxpayers first. Jamel Holley has my full support and backing in his campaign for Assembly."

Mayor Clifton People, who most recently served as Mayor of the Township of Union until the January re-organization, also showed support for the Roselle Mayor. "As Mayors in Union County, Jamel and I have had a great relationship. I've seen him rise the ranks of our party, and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity.

Holley will be considered for appointment to the seat’s unexpired term by the elected members of the Union County Democratic Committee from the 20th District, which is comprised of Elizabeth, Union, Hillside and Roselle, at a convention on January 21st. He has already declared his candidacy for the regular primary election in June for the full term.