By HARRY HURLEY My selection for the most iconic Mayor in Atlantic County history over the past 50 years is James J. “Sonny” McCullough, Mayor of Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey.
This is well earned.
McCullough has been Mayor of Egg Harbor Township for more than 27 years, since 1986 to the present. As one of the 3 growth districts in Atlantic County (23 total municipalities), McCullough skillfully dealt with the punishing state of New Jesrey Pinelands Act, which mandated thousands of homes to be built in Egg Harbor Township, creating the need for a new school every one to two years for decades … as wells as other density issues.
Beyond that, McCullough possesses first rate political chops.
When I served as paper boy (The Press of Atlantic City) for the Legendary Senator Frank S. “Hap” Farley, I would see McCullough’s Father (James, Sr.) and Sonny at his home each and every week when I would be there to collect.
Additionally, McCullough won a contested special Atlantic County Convention to succeed the legendary Senator Bill Gormley, whereby McCullough defeated Gormley’s hand-picked candidate, then sitting New Jersey Assemblyman Frank Blee. McCullough directly defeated the Atlantic County Republican Party institutional system to win won of the most powerful Senate seats in the state, District 2.
McCullough served for most of 2007 and was defeated by current Senator James Whelan, D-2 in the election of November, 2007.
Finally, as Mayor of Egg Harbor Township, McCullough has firmly and directly controlled more than 200 Egg Harbor Township delegates to the Atlantic County Republican Convention each year. A district wide candidate needs about 600 votes to win a County-wide nomination. McCullough controls 1/3 of the votes required. You simply can’t win a Republican Nomination in Atlantic County without McCullough’s support. Period!
Harry Hurley, Host of the Harry Hurley Show on WPG Talk Radio 1450 AM.