South Amboy Mayor Jack O’Leary is preparing a statement announcing his withdrawal as the Democratic candidate for State Assembly in the 19th district. O’Leary has faced pressure to drop out since an eight-page anonymous letter titled “O’Leary Crime Family Syndicate” was circulated in June. Among other things, the letter alleges that O’Leary’s brother established a South Amboy Democratic Club to solicit contributions from “active and potential businesses and individuals wishing to obtain employment or do business with the city or housing authority,” charges the mayor with giving his brother a no-show job as director of the South Amboy Housing Authority, and with personally profiting from public insurance work countywide.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) has called for his running mate to get out of the race. Wisniewski’s running mate in the last three elections, Assemblyman Joseph Vas (D-Perth Amboy) decided not to seek re-election following his indictment on federal and state corruption charges.
The leading candidate to replace O’Leary is Mathias Rodriguez, a Perth Amboy Democrat who ended his twenty-year stint as a Superior Court Judge last Friday.