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Monday, May 27, 2024


Freeholders Thornton and Hayes File Re-Election Petitions

Republican freeholders E. Marie Hayes

By Press Release

COURT HOUSE – Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald (Jerry) Thornton and Freeholder E. Marie Hayes have filed their re-election petitions for two seats on the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
According to a release, both submitted their nominations March 29 with Cape May County Clerk Rita Marie Fulginiti.
Hayes shares the 2019 Republican ticket with Thornton, the longest-serving freeholder in the history of Cape May County. Thornton previously served as a freeholder from 1976 – 1987 and from 1995 to the present.
In February 2013, Marie was sworn to fill an unexpired term on the freeholder board. Hayes was re-elected in November 2014 to her first three-year term, and again in 2017.
“Over the years, Marie and I have strived to work with and for the people of Cape May County, and we will continue to make that our main priority,” stated Thornton.
Thornton began his career in public service through his journey as a 12-year veteran of the Air Force. Thornton also attended technical schools including air traffic controller, space tracking and telemetry, automatic radar, management and supervision and Non-Commissioned Officers Academy.
Thornton’s community involvement includes serving on the Executive Board of the New Jersey Association of Counties; as a member of Southern New Jersey Freeholders’ Association, the American Legion Post 193, the Cape May County Union League, AARP, Villas Fishing Club, and Local 18 AFL-CIO.
He is also a former member of Rotary and Optimist and an eight-year former member of the Board of Elections. Thornton was also a member of the 1980 Presidential Electoral College.
As freeholder director, Thornton’s responsibilities include overseeing the administration, Clerk of the Board, County Counsel, Emergency Management, Facilities and Services, Management Information Services, Purchasing Department, Special Projects, Treasurer’s Office and the Veterans’ Bureau. Thornton also serves as the freeholder liaison on the 911 Advisory Board, Board of Social Services, Industrial Pollution Control Financing Authority, Insurance Fund Commissioner, Municipal Utilities Authority, New Jersey Association of Counties, Planning Board, Safety Board, Solid Waste Advisory Council, and the Solid Waste Amendment Plan Committee. He is a member of the ACCC School Board of Estimate, Special Services School Board of Estimate and Technical School Board of Estimate.
Thornton was also honored with the ‘Freeholder of the Year’ award in 2015 by the New Jersey Association of Counties.
“Our goal is to serve the Cape May County community by focusing on the people through listening and being responsive to concerns,” stated Hayes.
Prior to fulfilling her role as freeholder, Hayes was an investigator for the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office and was assigned to the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit.
Hayes then rose through the ranks to be promoted to sergeant of detectives, lieutenant of detectives and captain of detectives before retiring in 2009.
Hayes is also a 1996 graduate of the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Va.; and a past president and lifetime member of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement. Hayes oversees the Department of Tourism & Public Information, Public Offices and Transportation, the Board of Elections, Culture, and Heritage, Fare Free Transportation, Cape May County Library, Museum, Park/Zoo, Print Shop, Surrogate’s Office and the Tax Board.
Hayes is also freeholder liaison to the Women’s Commission, Library Commission, Park Advisory Board, ACCC School of Estimate, Special Services and Technical School Board of Estimate and the Jersey Shore Partnership.
She also serves as the first vice president of the New Jersey Association of Counties and the Vice President of the Southern New Jersey Freeholders Association.
She represents the freeholder board on the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce and the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.
In 2018, Hayes received the Woman of Wonder Award and the prestigious Boy Scouts of America Woman of Achievement Award in 2016.
Honored by Atlantic Cape Community College as one of the Alumni of the Year in 2019, Hayes has been asked to be the commencement speaker at the 2019 graduation ceremony; and in June, will receive an award from Women United Power of the Purse.
Thornton and Hayes will be running in the 2019 election with the Republican New Jersey First District Legislative team of Mike Testa for Senate, along with Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen for state Assembly.

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