Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr. is a guy. He was raised in the township. He still lives in the township. And, since he first became an assemblyman, the Republican politician has kept his political headquarters in Middletown.
So, it only stands to reason that, since he now considers himself the Middletown guy gone national, he would choose to announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate at the longstanding gathering spot for Middletown’s GOP politicians — the Lincroft Inn on Newman Springs Road.
Local and state political figureheads, family and friends of the 51-year-old state senator’s packed the restaurant’s banquet room to hear what he had to say about his decision to go national and unseat incumbent Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat.
Longtime Republican friend and colleague, Monmouth County GOP Chairman — and former county Sheriff and Middletown Township Administrator — Joe Oxley made his way to the podium first to introduce dignitaries and tell the audience about Kyrillos’ political and personal history and how it has brought him to his latest national mission.
State Senator Jennifer Beck then introduced Kyrillos’ wife, Susan, who referred to her husband as her best friend and the most compassionate contender for the U.S. Senate race that anyone could hope for.
“We can start to change Washington by changing senators — right here in New Jersey,” Susan Kyrillos said. “And I cannot think of a better person, my best friend, a great father, a great husband, to introduce to you as the next United States senator, Joe Kyrillos.”
Approaching the podium to a standing ovation, Kyrillos called attention to an urgent need to put Americans back to work and hone in on more traditional work ethic and less reliance on government programs as he officially declared his run for U.S. Senate.
“It was raining earlier, but it’s sunny now, ladies and gentlemen … Help is on the way,” Kyrillos said. “Why are we here? Why are we doing this? America faces tough and uncertain times, as we know … Our fellow Americans’ spirits are being tested … Over 20 million of our Americans are unemployed or under-employed … This is New Jersey. This is our home. I know the people in this room and I know the people in this state know what we’re looking for to renew our spirit — to renew America’s spirit … That’s what this is all about.”
On nationwide fiscal accountability, Kyrillos spoke of being a champion for small businesses and fiscal austerity in Washington, D.C. He said he would “push for a balanced budget amendment so that Washington is forced to balance its budgets every year just as we do in New Jersey and as you do at home.”
He also pledged to repeal “Obamacare,” which, he added, he feels is crushing job creation by putting too many expensive health care demands on small businesses, dissuading them from hiring, and undermining “access to quality healthcare.”
If elected to U.S. Senate, Kyrillos said he would also work toward simplifying and “overhauling” the tax code, “ending special-interest tax breaks and cutting taxes on job creators and middle income families.”
The state senator called attention to his 83-year-old father, Joseph Sr., a still-practicing Middletown pediatrician, and his mother, who managed her husband’s business and raised the family, as the best role models anyone could have.
He thanked them and all his supporters and left with a promise of moving his American dream-inspired initiatives forward in the fall.
Joe Kyrillos started his political career in 1988, serving the state’s District 13 as an assemblyman. He was then elected to state Senate in 1993 and has served ever since.
According to his biographical literature, “in addition to his official duties, the senator is employed as senior managing director of Colliers International, a commercial real estate services firm with offices in New York and Parsippany. He is also an advisor to the Newport Capital Group in Red Bank.”
He lives in Middletown with his wife Susan and two children Max (Joseph Jr.) and Georgia.