New Jersey's 40th Legislative District

Senator Kevin O'Toole

Senator Kevin O'Toole

O’Toole Announces His Final Senate Term

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State Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40 Bergen, Essex, Morris, and Passaic Counties) has announced that he will not be running for re-election in 2017. Senator O’Toole will finish his current term and retire from the Legislature in January of 2018; culminating a 22 year career that included 11 years in the General Assembly and 11 years in the State Senate.

Sen. Kevin O’Toole announced that he will not be running for re-election in 2017. (

Senator O’Toole is a former three-term Mayor in his hometown of Cedar Grove, where he voluntarily stepped down after 7 years when elected to the General Assembly. O’Toole also served as Chairman of the Essex County Republican Committee for 12 years before retiring from that position in 2011.

O’Toole said, “It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve the people of New Jersey, I can never repay the debt of gratitude I owe the voters and constituents for having entrusted me to represent them.” O’Toole continued, “When I first ran for office in 1989, at age 24, I never dared dream that I would be fortunate enough to serve the public for 29 years – when my term ends. It’s now time for me to move on and experience new and exciting opportunities that life has to offer. As when I voluntarily left the Cedar Grove Town Council after 7 years, the party Chairmanship after 12 years, and now 22 years in the Legislature, I believe it is time to create opportunities for the next – younger – generation of dedicated public servants to have their chance to make a difference.”

Regarding his tenure in public office, O’Toole said, “My parents instilled in me that a true public servant conducts themselves with integrity, has relentless energy, is a passionate advocate, and is always prepared – principles I tried to apply every day in service to my constituents. I have been lucky enough to be elected in 4 different decades and fortunate to have worked with so many talented public servants at all levels of government. I tried to make a lasting difference, the best way I knew how. Public office has forever changed my life; I hope that I had some small impact changing and improving the lives of others. I always tried to help individuals with any and every problem. I took great pride as we accomplished so many victories helping those who couldn’t help themselves.”

In describing his time in the Legislature, O’Toole said, “As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I took my responsibility to vet candidates for the Supreme Court, Superior Court, Administrative Law, Worker’s Compensation and Tax Courts very seriously. I felt it very important that the individuals tasked every day to adjudicate justice for the residents of our State possessed the appropriate temperament, knowledge of the law, and sense of fairness that everyone deserved when they walked into a courtroom.” O’Toole continued “along with the awesome responsibility that came with being a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, having served on both the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees, to me, meant that we never forget the commitment we have to fund programs that improve the lives of every citizen. I am proud to have been a part, for so many years, of ensuring we provided funding for seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and our children.”

O’Toole cited the following as some of his proudest legislative accomplishments:

  1. Enhancing penalties to protect children from predators
  2. Strengthening domestic violence statutes
  3. Banning the practice of dual office holding
  4. The 2% Property Tax Cap
  5. Pension and health benefit reforms
  6. Mandating certain preventative health screenings for women and children
  7.  Funding for services to children and the elderly

Senator O’Toole gave a special thanks to his staff. “I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by a great team since I came to the Legislature in 1996. My very first Chief of Staff, Matthew Murray, my Office Manager and Constituent Services Director, Renee DeCostello, who has been with me since the beginning, and my Chiefs of Staff over the years Dominick Fiorilli and Al Barlas – they have all made serving our constituents their number one priority and in doing so made my job look easy.”

O’Toole expressed an interest in continuing to remain active by fundraising for charitable organizations, candidates, and causes that will improve the lives of all New Jerseyeans.

Kevin O’Toole is managing partner of his law firm, O’Toole Fernandez Weiner Van Lieu, which has grown significantly in the recent years. The law firm is now operating in four states: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and California – and expanding to additional states. Kevin is widely recognized as a leading Defense lawyer, and is often used to consult on national litigation trends for Fortune 500 companies. O’Toole recently received the award for Top Outside Counsel from the nationally recognized legal foundation, Council on Litigation Management (CLM).

Senator O’Toole concluded by stating, “I am most grateful to my beautiful wife, Bethany, and two amazing children, Kevin Jr, and Ryan Marie, for their unwavering love, support and understanding throughout my career. I first became an elected official as a single man, now I am a proud husband and father and as I begin the next chapter of my life, I look forward to spending much more time with them.”

O’Toole terms in elective office:

  • Cedar Grove Town Council: 1989-1996
  • General Assembly: 1996-2001, 2002-2007
  • State Senate: 2001, 2008-2018

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