ROSELLE PARK, NJ - Two council members took the oath of office on Sunday at Roselle Park’s reorganization meeting. History was made as the council will now have a gay married couple sitting on the dais to serve as councilmen at the same time.
Joseph DeIorio (R) took the oath of office as councilman-at-large. DeIorio’s husband Thomas (Thos) Shipley (R) is currently serving as the community's Fifth Ward councilman.
“It wasn’t surprising that we became the focus a negative campaign because of the possibility of us being in elected office as a married couple. But the ever-changing opinions and acceptance of the voters of Roselle Park thought otherwise and today we make history in the state of New Jersey and possibly nationwide,” said DeIorio.
DeIorio added, “As my husband, I love you dearly, but as Councilman, I can assure you and the public, that our opinions will not always be the same,”
This was not the first time DeIorio has served on this council. This was a return to the political ring were he had served in the past as Mayor of the town for sixteen years and five years as a councilman.
According to the New Jersey Statistical Historical Commission, and the LGBT Center in New York City, (who have historical archives nationwide), they cannot locate any married gay couples serving in office to date.
Also taking the oath of office was first-time candidate Jayme Lynn Negron (R) who will be serving the residents of the First Ward. Negron has been active in the community serving on various committees including the towns now famous home Christmas Light contest.
“Thank you so much to my amazing friends and family that took time out of their Sunday to be there for me today as I was sworn in,” said Negron. “I am honored to take the place of First Ward Councilwoman. It is a privilege to serve the First Ward and I hope residents reach out to me with any concerns they might have. I’d like to believe that one of the things that bind all of the previous council members and mayors and the future ones is the love of this town. I know that is what drove me to run,” Negron added.
Highlights and speeches from DeIorio and Negron can be viewed below.
Third Ward Councilman William Fahoury was chosen to serve as the Council President for 2018.