Former Assemblyman Jamel Holley has announced his candidacy for the upcoming mayoral race in Roselle, New Jersey.
Holley, who is no stranger to the town, having served as its mayor and council president in the past, will be running against incumbent Mayor Donald Shaw, whose administration has been marred by various controversies and scandals.
Holley, who represented the 20th District in the state legislature from 2015 to 2022, established himself as a legislator who could work across party lines, with over 60 sponsored laws to his name.
Holley was once considered, “clearly a strong and rising star in the Democratic party in New Jersey” but he was pushed aside by party bosses when he challenged state Senator Joseph Cryan in the 2021 Democratic primary election.
He now runs a firm that provides public relations and political consulting services, with a focus on issues such as economic development, housing, and the environment.
“It’s time to end the petty fighting, elect fresh leadership, and finally put taxpayers and residents front and center – where they belong,” said Shaw when he was nominated for the job four years ago, but he has faced criticism over his wasteful spending, alleged misuse of municipal resources and his involvement in a mortgage fraud case.
Taxes are sure to be an issue in the race, because Roselle residents have seen their property tax bills rise under Shaw’s leadership, with the average bill reaching $10,293, significantly higher than neighboring communities.
The average property tax bill is only $3,942 in Winfield, $8,253 in Springfield, $9,036 in Plainfield, $9,185 in Linden, $9,323 in Rahway and $9,644 in Hillside.
Among other towns in the 20th Legislative District the average property tax bill is only $9,085 in Union, $9,556 in Kenilworth, and $9,827 in Elizabeth.
Roselle homeowners also typically pay more than New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation average property tax bill for New Jersey, which hit a record $9,490 in 2022 — a real-estate tax that is 43 percent higher than the second-leading state.
Holley said his campaign will focus on improving the lives of Roselle residents by addressing the issues that matter to them. He aims to tackle the town’s property tax problems and restore integrity to the mayor’s office.
As a former mayor and council president, Holley believes he has the experience and skills needed to lead Roselle forward.
The upcoming mayoral race in Roselle is expected to be hotly contested, with both candidates vying for the support of the town’s voters.
With Holley’s track record of public service and his commitment to the town’s well-being, he may just be the change that Roselle needs.