Burlington County Freeholders Bill Haines and Jim Wujcik both announced today that they will not seek reelection, leaving Republicans without any incumbents on the ticket in November.
In a joint letter to Burlington County Republican Chairman Bill Layton, Haines and Wujcik said that they came to their decisions after “several weeks of introspection, discussions and dliberation.”
“In the end, our decision was based not on any one factor, but several. Among these is the need to ensure upper mobility in the Republican organization, and to give other qualified individuals an opportunity to serve in County government,” read the letter.
Layton said that the two were “outstanding public servants whose leadership and commitment have made Burlington County a better place to raise a family and retire, while carrying on a long, rich tradition of fiscally responsible, environmentally friendly Republican leadership here in Burlington County.”
Haines and Wujcik, both Republican, were the only two freeholders up for reelection this year.
Earlier this month, Layton downplayed speculation about Haines’s potential retirement, but said that he was not worried even if the party had to defend two open seats. Today, he reiterated that note of confidence.
“Our party is united and it is strong,” said Layton. “With Chris Christie on top of the ticket and qualified candidates up and down the ballot, this promises to be a great year for Burlington County Republicans.”
Democrats, coming off a huge win last year where they picked up two freeholder seats, are hoping to gain control of the board by running Mount Holly Councilwoman Kimberly Kersey and Cinnaminson labor leader Jim Bernard.
Republicans will screen replacement candidates for Haines and Wujcik on Saturday.