Littell and McHose call for the governor to step down; Burrell offers sympathy

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:49

    NEWTON-Rep. Scott Garrett announced the launch of a Web site for New Jersey residents to log on and sign an online petition demanding that Gov. Jim McGreevey resign immediately. "The launch of offers a channel for the people of New Jersey to unite and collectively express their disapproval over Jim McGreevey's and the Democrat bosses' decision to delay his resignation for purely political purposes," Garrett said. "During these challenging times, the people of New Jersey deserve a Governor's full and complete attention. Jim McGreevey has unfortunately become too distracted. He should resign immediately. "Now New Jersey voters can make their collective voices heard by signing the "Step Down Now" petition at, demanding that Jim McGreevey resign immediately and allow the people of New Jersey to choose their next Governor in a special election this November." Last Thursday, McGreevey announced he would resign in November, citing an adulterous affair with another man. He said he would step down to protect the governor's office from "rumors, false allegations and threats of exposure." By resigning in November, McGreevey prevents a special election this fall to replace him. However, state Republicans and Democrats are pressuring him to resign immediately to allow for that special election to complete the remaining year of his term. Meanwhile, Republican State Sen. Robert Littell of Franklin and Republican Assemblywoman Alison McHose released the following joint statement earlier this week: "We are joining with the growing chorus of New Jerseyans today who are calling upon the Governor to resign his office immediately. The voters of this State deserve to choose their next Governor and we are, therefore, calling upon the Governor to resign now so that a special election can be held this November to fill the remainder of the his term. The voters deserve no less." Democrat Howard Burrell took a more moderate stance in his comments. A member of the Sussex County Board of Freeholders from 2000-02, Burrell is on the board of directors for the Center for Prevention and Counseling in Newton and was instrumental in getting McGreevey's attention and support for alcohol and drug rehabilitation in the county. "Like most New Jerseyans, I was shocked and surprised by Gov. McGreevey's announcement - both his sexual orientation and his resignation from office," Burrell said in a statement. "However, I don't get any joy or pleasure from the pain and discomfort of others. My basic reaction is one of sympathy for the governor and his family for having to deal with such a personal matter in the most public of venues." For more reaction on the McGreevey story, please see pages 8, 12 and 41.