TRENTON – Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) issued the following statement on the passing of state Senator Jim Whelan:
“At the end of this legislative session, we will pay tribute to those who are retiring from the Legislature and I expect the session will run long. Part of that is because many of us will have great things to say about our colleagues and their dedication and service to the state. I am heartbroken that I will not have the opportunity to do this for my friend Jim Whelan. I am so very saddened by his loss.
“There are so many things I can say about him. He was a huge advocate for students, a lover of all things Atlantic City, a genuine human being who always had a smile on his face and was present in every conversation he had. He was kind and caring, and he was a dedicated husband. The contributions he made through his years of public service could never be captured in mere words, but this state is better because of them.
“We were lucky to have him and I will cherish the time I spent with him. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Whelan’s family during this challenging time.”