Sweeney says he won’t seek re-election as Freeholder, and may leave county post early

Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford) says he won’t run for re-election to the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders in 2011, and suggested that he might leave his post as Freeholder Director and his seat entirely before his current term ends.

Sweeney, who has a majority of the Senate Democratic Caucus backing his bid for Senate President, said his decision to leave his county post will not be affected by the outcome of his campaign to oust the incumbent, Richard Codey (D-Roseland).

“I still have to figure out how to transition out (of the freeholder director’s position),” Sweeney told PolitickerNJ.com. “”I got elected freeholder last year. It’s a three-year term and for the record I was going to transition out anyway because there would be no way I could run for senator and freeholder at the same time, so right now it’s just a timeline consideration.”

Sweeney was first elected Freeholder in 1997 and has been director since 1998. He has held two elected offices sine he ousted eight-term State Sen. Raymond Zane in 2001.

While state law bans dual office holding, Sweeney is permitted to be a Senator and Freeholder because he held both posts before the law was enacted. He says he donates his $18,000 Freeholder salary to charity.

Sweeney says he won’t seek re-election as Freeholder, and may leave county post early