Hometown: Cape May, NJ
Top 3 Issues: Quality healthcare; property tax rates; ensure veterans have job training, education opportunities, and support they need to succeed once they’ve come back home
Free-time activity: “I enjoy spending as much time as I possibly can with my family. My son just turned seven years old, and he’s very active in Scouts. I’m actually the den leader for his scouting group. I try to get involved with my kids as much as I possibly can, and scouting is something that I thought would be good for my son, but it actually turned into something that’s great for the entire family. Being active in scouting is something that I love to do.”
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Hi, I’m Senator Bob Andrzejczak.
I represent New Jersey's 1st Legislative District which covers Cape May County, Cumberland County, and a portion of Atlantic County.
My path to public office started in 2008. I had joined the Army as an Infantryman and reached the rank of Sergeant. I intended to make a career out of serving my country, but unfortunately two months into my second deployment to Iraq, my convoy was attacked.
I was the rear gunner responsible for making sure our convoy was not attacked from behind. We were passing by a market in Baiji, Iraq, when an enemy combatant pulled out a hidden anti-tank grenade from a chicken coop and threw it at my vehicle. The explosion threw me back in my sling and nearly knocked unconscious but forced myself out of it. I heard my driver crying that he was hit. I made sure he was taken care of before crawling in pain to go check on the rest of my guys. They were okay, but the grenade had catastrophically mangled my left leg. The men I tried to save ultimately saved me.
After 2 weeks and many surgeries that resulted in the amputation of my left leg, I was on my very long path to recovery.
The hardest part was calling home. Each time I'd checked in before this, I had been able to tell my family that everything was fine. This time I couldn't.
When I returned home to South Jersey I wanted to give back to the community that was there for me during this life-changing experience. I joined local veteran and community organizations and became involved, but I wanted to do more.
I met then-Senator Jeff Van Drew. Jeff saw the passion I had for veterans issues and my desire to serve and encouraged me to run for the Assembly in 2013.
Along with Bruce Land and Matt Milam, we have been able to make a big impact on South Jersey, especially for our seniors, our veterans, and for women’s rights. We expanded a property tax freeze that will allow our seniors to retire with dignity and stay in their homes. We passed new laws providing job training and college scholarship opportunities for returning veterans. We passed the strongest equal pay protections in the country and restored funding for women’s healthcare services so they have access to preventive services, prenatal care, and life-saving cancer screenings.
And we’ve helped support our local industries, like fishing, aquaculture, and wineries, which in turn has put more people back to work.
We have accomplished a lot, but there’s still a lot more work to do, especially to make South Jersey more affordable. This is my home. I grew up here. I want to retire here. But it's far too expensive and there are a lot of families like mine who are getting pushed out by high taxes.
I hope I can count on your vote in November, and that I can continue to serve as a voice for South Jersey.