Sweeney Statement on Passing of Senator Jim Whelan

Acting Governor Steve Sweeney and Senator Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, pose for a picture with the Branca family in their home after signing “Ricci’s Law” which would require certain first, second and subsequent offenders under the State’s driving while intoxicated laws to install an ignition interlock device.  The Legislation was named after Ricci Branca, a 17-year old Egg Harbor Township resident who was killed by a repeat drunk driver in 2006.  Pictured in ActGovSweeneyWhelanBrancas2.jpg, from left to right – Acting Governor Steve Sweeney; Sherri Branca (background); Adrienne Branca (foreground); Richard Branca, Sr.; Senator Jim Whelan.

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following statement on the passing of state Senator Jim Whelan:

“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Senator Jim Whelan. Jim was a true friend, a confidant and champion for the people of South Jersey and the entire state. He gave so much of his life to public service, serving as a teacher, a councilman, as mayor, and for more than a decade in the Legislature fighting for policies to help improve the lives of the residents of the state. He was a man of integrity and honor, and he was a friend to all of us.

“Jim was rarely one to raise his voice, but was a dogged advocate for Atlantic City, a city he loved dearly, and was determined to see it thrive. He was the author of many of the initiatives that have helped to revitalize Atlantic City and will be remembered for that work for generations to come.  He will be missed dearly by all of us who knew him, but his loss will also be felt by the entire state.

“I offer my sincere condolences to his wife, Kathy, their son Richard, and his entire family during this incredibly difficult time.”