Hector Tavarez

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Hector Tavarez of Egg Harbor Township, a Democrat, has announced he will challenge Republican Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional Legislative District in November.

Born in Hammonton, Tavarez, who retired as a captain in the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, grew up Mullica Township and has lived in South Jersey with his wife of 32 years, Denise, and their three children. He grew up in a large nine-person family with his parents, four sisters, two brothers, who all lived in a small house where his parents still live.

Tavarez joined the Egg Harbor Township Police department in 1986 at the age of 20 serving as a community-oriented police officer. In 1989, along with five other officers from the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, started the Egg Harbor Township Police Athletic League. Their goal was to improve the relationship between the youth in their community and their police officers. In the beginning, they worked out of their police cars with small activities such as movies and basketball. Thirty-two years later, PAL continues to make a difference.

Tavarez currently serves as the executive director of PAL, now called the Police Activities League of Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic County. The organization has more than 21,000 square feet of recreational buildings on 35 acres that currently serves about 800 children from throughout the South Jersey area. PAL offers many programs that include STEM, robotics, an off-highway vehicle trails park, laser tag, before and after school care, and a variety of summer camp programs. The organization is currently constructing a 24,000-square-foot athletic arena that will bring a variety of arena sports programs to the region.

Tavarez is running for Congress because he believes it’s all about treating our seniors with honor and respect while still protecting the future of our children and grandchildren, his campaign said in a release.

“He’ll work to bring affordable and quality health and mental care to all Americans as a human right including reasonable prescription prices. He will follow the science and work toward reasonable actions to stop COVID-19 and protect American lives while preserving the South Jersey economy,” the release stated.

Tavarez will push for realistic but impactful climate change solutions to save the planet, strongly support a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.

A supporter of labor unions, Tavarez said he would create quality jobs for South Jersey so children and grandchildren can work, live and succeed right here in South Jersey. After being on the front lines of law enforcement for 25 years, he supports police and justice reform, and will provide officers with the resources they need to better protect and serve all people with honor and respect. Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler has endorsed him.


Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.