Kyrillos calls it quits

Joe Kyrillos at 2012 RNC in Tampa, Florida
Joe Kyrillos at 2012 RNC in Tampa, Florida

A 28-year veteran of the state legislature is calling it quits, Save Jerseyans.

“It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve the people of my district and the state of New Jersey in the Legislature,” state Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) told The Observer on Tuesday. “Ever since I was a kid growing up in Monmouth County, I’ve always believed that public service is an important and noble profession. I am truly fortunate to have had the ability to serve for so many years in the state Senate, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished on behalf of the people of New Jersey.”

Ken Kurson broke the story; before becoming editor of The Observer, Kurson worked closely with Kyrillos in his capacity as an executive with Jamestown, a Republican consulting firm.

His motivations for hanging it up extended beyond personal desires; “[a]nd obviously, the constraints and frustrations of serving in the minority and with the process is a factor,” Kyrillos added in an e-mail to supporters.

Kyrillos’s future departure from the New Jersey State Senate in January 2018 gives rise to a potentially competitive primary in June 2017 for the 13th Legislative District.

A former chairman of the N.J. GOP, Kyrillos was once a man-on-his-way in state politics. His career reached its high water mark in 2012 when he ran – and lost – an uphill U.S. Senate bid against Bob Menendez by a wide double-digit margin.

Since that time, Senator Kyrillos experienced a high profile falling-out with his former close fried Chris Christie.

He’s the second GOP State Senator to forgo reelection ahead of next cycle; his colleague Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex), a veteran of the 40th Legislative District, is also retiring next in a year’s time.