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Senate President Steve Sweeney was in Wildwood on Tuesday to protest Gov. Phil Murphy’s veto of a bill to fund repairs to the boardwalk, an issue that looms large in a hotly contested special election for the State Senate in a Cape May-based district.
Sweeney is backing incumbent Robert Andrzejczak (D-Middle), a Democrat who took the Senate seat in January after Jeff Van Drew resigned to become a congressman. Andrzejczak faces Cumberland County Republican Chairman Michael Testa, Jr. in November to fill the remaining 26 months of Van Drew’s term.
Andrzejczak and two Democratic assemblymen from the 1st district voted for the bill in the Legislature and have bashed Murphy for vetoing it.
Testa was also quick to slam Murphy for not funding repairs to the popular tourist destination that serves as an economic engine for Cape May County. He’s also working to tie Andrzejczak to Murphy.
Now Sweeney and Andrzejczak are looking for another way to fund the cost for boardwalk repairs. They announced the introduction of legislation to have the state Transportation Trust Fund pay the $40 million cost over ten years.
“When these boardwalks get damaged or fall into disrepair, we all pay a price,” Sweeney said. “We’ve developed a funding mechanism to repair and improve the boardwalk so that businesses stay open, workers remain employed and the tourism sector that is so important to New Jersey continues to thrive.”
Andrzejczak called the funding crucial in Wildwood’s ability to attract tourists.
“The Wildwood Boardwalk is a historic attraction that serves as the backbone of the community and the region,” Andrzejczak said. “It is a prime attraction that supports economic activity and the quality of life for residents and visitors.”
Assemblymen Matthew Milam (D-Vineland) and Bruce Land (D-Vineland) were also part of the call to fund the Wildwood boardwalk repairs. They also face a serious challenge in the November general election.