NEW JERSEY — A New Jersey mayor has made an announcement no one saw coming, a decision she said she made after talking with her daughters and after the shooting death of a lawmaker friend rocked her city.
It has been nearly three months since Sayreville city councilor Eunice Dwumfour was shot dead outside her home in February by a gunman who ambushed her in her car. The case remains unsolved and the brutal attack shocked the entire community.
This includes Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick. She has spent the past 10 years serving on city council, including the past three years as mayor.
He said Dwumfour was a personal friend of his. This is why he cites a hate letter sent to him after Dwumfour’s death as the reason he is leaving public service, at least for now.
“I call it my break. I have to take a break because there is nothing more important than my children and my family,” Kilpatrick told our sister channel NBC New York.
The letter he received regrouping the governing body with Dwumfour was the turning point for Kilpatrick, who paraphrased the contents of the letter.
“Many of you crooked, corrupt politicians, ‘insert racial slur’, must follow, should follow or I can’t wait for more of you,” he said of the contents of the letter.
She cried at times when she made the dramatic announcement that she would not run again at a council meeting in early April.
“It’s a tough decision to make because I believe passionately in this city, but I love my family more than anything in the world,” he said.
The local Democratic Party had already stripped him of his endorsement in a bit of local politics, but he could have run as an independent. For now though, he is done with public service of any kind thanks in part to his two teenage daughters.
“They said ‘Mom, we don’t want you to do this anymore.’ Mom listens. And I have to take care of them before I take care of the others,” Kilpatrick said.
His advice to others in public service: make your own decisions and seek them out in your own balance between the desire to do good and the level of hatred and threats you face.
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