Joseph Malone has served in public office since he was elected mayor of Bordentown at age 23 — nearly four decades ago.
“I just need some time to be Joe Malone, regular citizen,” said Malone, now a veteran New Jersey Assemblyman.
He announced today that he would retire from the Legislature several months after redrawn legislative boundaries shifted the Republican out of the GOP-friendly 30th District spanning northern Burlington and parts of Ocean, Mercer and Monmouth Counties.
To keep his seat, Malone would have to compete in the Democratic-leaning Seventh District, which runs through Burlington County’s river towns and recently saw the addition of Moorestown and Mount Laurel.
Malone insisted several times that his decision did not take that into account.
“It’s nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with being in the Seventh or the 30th or anywhere else,” he said. “There was about a 99 percent chance that I wouldn’t have run” even if district boundaries were unchanged.
Malone, 61 and a retired teacher, said he wanted to spend more time with his family but left open the possibility of a future run for office.
“Don’t be surprised if in the relatively near future I may want to run for something else,” he said, suggesting a municipal or county-level position. “I’m not going to evaporate.”
Malone has served in the Assembly since 1993 and is deputy minority leader in the Democratic-controlled Legislature. He stepped down as Republican budget officer in January after serving in that role since 2004.