The State Legislators representing the 26th Legislative District — Senator Joe Pennacchio, Assemblyman Jay Webber, and Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce — announce today their running for re-election. In addition to the gubernatorial contest, all seats in the State Legislature are up for election in 2013.
Senator Pennacchio commented, “I look forward to running with our team and serving the constituents of the 26th Legislative District. It has been an honor to represent our constituents but more importantly to advocate and fight for what is in the best interests of the people we serve.”
“I love New Jersey— it’s the place where I grew up, where my parents still live, where I am raising my own kids, and where I hope to spend the rest of my life,” stated Assemblyman Webber. “I serve, and hope to continue to serve, so that our Garden State keeps moving toward an affordable and prosperous future as great as our State’s citizens. I am committed to pursuing policies that balance the provision of essential government services and the protection of the most vulnerable among us — while never losing sight of those too-often-forgotten folks: the hard-working taxpayers who play by the rules and ask only a fair shake from their government.”
“Dedication, Commitment, Responsiveness — these are the qualities of professionalism we bring as representatives of the District 26 team fighting for the residents we serve,” stated Assemblywoman DeCroce. “We believe in seeing and hearing for ourselves, the challenges and issues facing our district and pursuing the means to address them. We stand ready to enhance the quality of life of our constituents while keeping the tax burden low. I welcome the opportunity to run with Senator Pennacchio and my partner in the Assembly Jay Webber to proudly represent the 26th District.”
Joe Pennacchio was elected to represent the 26th District from the New Jersey State Senate in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011. Pennacchio has been assigned to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, as well as the Senate Transportation Committee. Prior to serving in the State Senate, Joe Pennacchio served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2001 to 2008 and on the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1998 to 2001. As Freeholder, Pennacchio created the Morris County Distinguished Service Medal Program to commemorate all eligible residents who have served in war conflicts. To date, more than 10,000 deserving veterans have been recognized for their service. In the Senate, Pennacchio was a prime sponsor of the historic Pension and Health Care Reform Act of 2011. He has been on the forefront of Transparency in Government, where his efforts are helping to bring a comprehensive, inclusive website to New Jersey. Taxpayers can see how each and every dollar is being spent in a timely, user friendly manner on an easy to use website; a useful tool in cutting wasteful, questionable spending. His pending legislation would also bring transparency to all levels of government. As Assemblyman, Pennacchio secured 300 acres of the former Greystone tract for Morris County to be used in perpetuity for open space and recreation. In 2012, he successfully lobbied the Christie Administration to commit an additional 100 acres of the former Greystone tract for the same purpose. Senator Pennacchio has been recognized as a “Taxpayer Champion” by the New Jersey Taxpayer Alliance, having received a perfect score and as a Guardian of Small Business from the New Jersey Federation of Independent Business. The Senator and his wife Diane live in Rockaway Township.
Jay Webber is serving his third term in the New Jersey General Assembly and serves on the Assembly’s Budget and Labor Committees. From his position on the Assembly Budget Committee, Assemblyman Webber has helped put New Jersey back on the right track — sponsoring Governor Christie’s first Budget that closed an inherited $11 billion deficit without raising taxes, sponsoring historic teacher tenure reform in our schools, capping property taxes, and enacting pension-and-healthcare reforms saving taxpayers $120 billion and preserving those benefits for those who rely on them. Assemblyman Webber recently has led passage of legislation assisting flood-mitigation programs, bringing education funding back to local communities, supporting families in domestic violence shelters, and combating tax fraud. Meanwhile, Assemblyman Webber continues to be a tireless advocate for policies that cut taxes by over $1 billion, promote the purchase of health insurance across state lines, provide innovative ways to fund college education, and increase access to healthcare for the underserved. From 2009 to 2011, he served as Chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party, where he led the NJGOP to its first statewide victory in 12 years with the election of Chris Christie as Governor. In the Fall of 2010, TIME Magazine named Assemblyman Webber as one of the nation’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of U.S. Politics, described by TIME as “a new generation of civic leaders . . . already at work trying to fix a broken system and restore faith in the process.” He is an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership, a national bipartisan program of “Rising Stars” in Governance dedicated to transcending partisanship, focusing attention on overarching questions of leadership and governance, and working across party lines to seek solutions to public problems. Assemblyman Webber earned the 2009 Defender of the Family Legislative Award from the New Jersey Family Policy Council. He is also the founder and host of NJ Reagan Day, an annual tribute to the life and leadership of President Reagan. He and his wife Johanna live with their six children in Morris Plains.
No stranger to municipal, county and state government, BettyLou DeCroce won a November 2012 special election to represent the 26th District. BettyLou has served in a number of capacities from Councilwoman to Deputy Township Manager and Municipal Clerk; Chair, Morris County Joint Insurance Fund; Commissioner for the North Jersey Health Insurance Fund and appointed by Governor Christie as Deputy Commissioner for the NJ Department of Community Affairs, where she authored the Best Practices for municipalities, a model for identifying efficiencies in local government that reduce property taxes. DeCroce is a strong advocate for lowering taxes through business development as a catalyst for economic revitalization. To create jobs and spur economic growth, DeCroce sponsored A-1063, a bi-partisan bill that provides that certain permits and approvals for critical infrastructure projects such as roads, sewerage, and building projects must be acted upon within 45 days. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and other recent storms, DeCroce sponsored “The New Jersey Residents’ Power Protection Act” A-3495, which proposes to create a tax incentive to help finance the mandatory installation of natural gas or propane-fired generators for certain vital businesses, facilities and nursing homes, which play significant roles in protecting people’s lives. DeCroce is committed to fighting for common sense legislation to promote jobs through private sector growth, and reducing the tax burden on small businesses and families. DeCroce is an ardent supporter of local charitable organizations, civic groups and other noteworthy endeavor. She has served on the boards of the Morris County Cancer Society; NJ Crime Victims Law Center; Morris County Clerks Association; state of NJ clerks Association; International Clerks Association; and Vice Chair – employees Legislative Council (NJBIA 1990-2000). The owner of the Parsippany based real estate firm ERA Gallo & DeCroce, Inc., BettyLou has two children and three grandchildren, and lives in the Powder Mill section of Parsippany.