Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones (D-Barrington) has announced that she will not seek re-election to a third term and will retire from the Legislature when her term expires in January.
Her 5th district seat is one of the most Democratic in the state. Democrats are expected to pick a new Assembly candidate within the next two weeks, in time for the April 1 filling deadline.
Jones, 79, has been a fixture in Camden County politics for nearly fifty years. She served as chief of staff to State Sen. Walter Rand (D-Bellmawr) in the 1980s and later for Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts.
She called her career in politics “a labor of love.”
“I have had a rich career in public service, forty-five years total, twenty-two as an elected official, and now I’m wrapping up a rewarding legislative career in the General Assembly,” Egan Jones said. “There simply comes a time when one needs to look in a different direction, so in 2020 I will be doing just that and lucky to be able to write the next chapter.”
Egan Jones served as a Barrington councilwoman and Camden County freeholder before becoming Camden County surrogate in 2001. She won an assembly seat in 2015 when Angel Fuentes left to become deputy Camden County clerk.
“The greatest thing about serving in elective office has been helping people from all walks of life and solving all kinds of problems — from simple constituent service requests to more complex legislative matters which can impact millions of New Jerseyans,” Egan Jones said.
The retiring legislator said she was proud of her role in bringing fair funding to South Jersey public schools, renewing the Transportation Trust Fund, Equal Pay legislation, and supporting some of the nation’s toughest gun laws.
“I want to thank the voters of Camden and Gloucester counties who entrusted me with their vote and to the many friends and supporters I’ve met along the way,” said Egan Jones.
The 5th district includes Audubon, Audubon Park, Barrington, Bellmawr, Brooklawn, Camden, Gloucester City, Haddon Heights, Lawnside, Magnolia, Mount Ephraim, Runnemede and Woodlynne in Camden County and Deptford Township, Harrison Township, Mantua Township, Wenonah, Westville and Woodbury in Gloucester County.
The district has 46,404 more Democrat than Republicans and has not sent a Republican to the legislature since State Sen. Frank Italiano (R-Camden) won his last term in 1971.