Democratic Party leaders already told Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick that she would not have their support for re-election, but now she has announced her decision to step down from her position, citing safety concerns due to a threat sent after the shooting death of Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour as the reasons for her decision.
The announcement comes three months after the murder of Dwumfour, which remains unsolved.
Kilpatrick, who has been serving as mayor for three years and on the council for a decade, received a hate letter following Dwumfour’s death, which she said was a factor in her decision to quit.
The letter was addressed to the governing body and contained racial slurs.
The mayor was in tears as she made her announcement at a council meeting in April.
The local Democratic Party had already decided against supporting her.
In the November election, the mayoral race will be contested between former Republican mayor Kennedy O’Brien and Democrat William Henry, the brother of South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry.
The Democrat served as a councilman from 2011-2013 and currently serves on the Board of Health and the Open Space Committee.
After serving two decades as Sayreville mayor, O’Brien in 2019 decided not to run for another term, citing his wife Janice’s breast cancer diagnosis.
O’Brien said she is now cancer free, and he’s decided to attempt a political comeback.
Kilpatrick advised public servants to make their own decision and base it on their own balance between desire to do good versus the level of hate and threats they face.