MIDDLETOWN - Today, former Middletown Committeeman Sean F. Byrnes announced his Candidacy for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District. Byrnes served on the Middletown Township Committee from 2008 to 2011. He previously served as a Municipal Prosecutor, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Community YMCA and as a Coast Guard Officer, both on active and reserve duty, including time spent recalled to active duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom and as the Assistant Chief of Staff in New Orleans during the response to Hurricane Katrina. He was also one of the original Board Members of the Parker Family Clinic and currently serves as a Board Member for the Monmouth County SPCA.

Starting with a pledge that his campaign will take no corporate money, Byrnes said his campaign will focus on what he calls the “rigged economy”. “Make no mistake, individuals, consumers, homeowners, and heads of households have all lost ground, because the laws have been rigged over the last 30 years to favor the largest political donors. From bailed out banks refusing mortgage modifications, to banks and cell phone providers charging ridiculous fees, to public institutions charging excessive tolls to cross our bridges or purchase tickets to ride trains and buses, our elected officials have forgotten our citizenry. Our families are under siege.” Byrnes proposes legislation to create re-education and re-training programs within our system of higher education, along with a high-tech research campus in New Brunswick, to arm workers with the skills to compete in the modern economy.

“I have spent the last twenty years defending and advocating for individuals and small businesses, and I understand their needs. I will challenge and upend a system that has provided huge tax advantages to large multi-national corporations while reducing income and wealth for the small business owner and average family.”

Byrnes noted that his likely opponent, Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, is a nice person, but a creature of Trenton. He supported the gas tax and Chris Christie's infamous book deal. Byrnes emphasized that “we cannot allow business to continue as usual. Our State has wasted vast sums of money in the public sector. I will investigate and propose legislation to re-structure the Port Authority, New Jersey Transit, and the Turnpike Authority. Projects like the Xanadu nightmare and a $4 billion dollar subway station make plain that public corruption is alive and well.” Byrnes said, “I believe that these unaccountable agencies, with their enormous budgets must be streamlined and held accountable before we begin the inevitable infrastructure investment that will drive our State forward in the next decade.”