Harold J. "Hal" Wirths
I have been a resident of Sussex County for my entire life, having lived in Franklin, Wantage and Hardyston.
Family: I have been married to my wife, Debbie, for 31 years. We are the proud parents of two college-aged daughters, Courtney and Erin.
Education: Associate degree from Upsala College
Occupation: Self-employed investor and bank director
Experience: From 2010 to 2016, I served as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. I implemented aggressive fraud-fighting efforts, saving taxpayers over $800 million.
I served on the Economic Development Authority, State Ethics Commission, State Employment & Training Commission, and State Health Benefits Design Committee.
For nearly 20 years, I owned/managed two furniture stores. I'm an original founder of Noble Community Bank, which today is part of Highlands State Bank. I serve on the Board of Directors.
I was a Sussex County freeholder for nearly a decade. I recently finished service on New Jersey's Parole Board.
Are you currently serving on a council, board or committee? Yes
I am a Sussex County Republican Committeeman with over 30 years of service.
www.district24taxpayerteam.com and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orohospacewirths/
List your top 3 issues and what you would do regarding each issue.
1) Property tax relief. I agree with Senator (Steven) Oroho's and Assemblyman (Parker) Space's support of the Fair School Funding Constitutional Amendment. The current school funding formula championed by Democrats needs to be scrapped and a constitutional amendment is the only way we can guarantee that liberal politicians and unelected judges don't take our school funding. The current formula takes roughly 60 percent of state education dollars and gives it to just 31 school districts; over 600 split up the rest. This is unfair to our students and taxpayers. Tax abatements and PILOTS in urban areas need to be reformed. With all the new condos and Wall Street type businesses, Jersey City cries poverty to the State. Because the City routinely hands out 30 year tax abatements to the "One Percent." Their taxable land drops and they come crying to the state for more school aid. Our taxpayers should not be subsidizing millionaires in urban areas.
2) Experienced tax cutter. Under my leadership as labor commissioner, we eliminated a $213 million federal tax hike that New Jersey employers were facing in January 2014. Due to the growing health and solvency of the Trust Fund, New Jersey employers have realized $380 million in tax relief -- the largest single unemployment tax reduction in modern New Jersey history. Parker Space and I are the only two Assembly candidates who have actually lowered or repealed a tax.
3) Fighting for conservative and Constitutional Values. I will stand up and fight against high taxes and excessive regulation and for the Second Amendment, the unborn and our unique way of life in Sussex, Warren and Morris counties. Trenton liberals need to stop meddling with us whether it is in our churches, our schools, our wallets, our land use or our gun cabinets, and let us live our lives.
What else should we know?
Being Labor Commissioner allowed me to develop relationships with legislators and staff, enabling me to hit the ground running as an Assemblyman to better assist the district.
My father, Wally Wirths, introduced me to public service. My mom enrolled me in the Big Brother Program and I became Wally's Little Brother. We were very close and later became father and son, the first such adoption in the country. It was unique because my relationship with my mom remained unchanged. Some of my fondest memories were growing up on a farm in Wantage and being able to raise my family there.
Hal Wirths is a life-long resident of Sussex County having resided in having lived in Franklin, Wantage, and Hardyston. He is married to his wife Debbie for 31 years and they are the proud parents of two college-aged daughters, Courtney and Erin.
Mr. Wirths just recently completed eight months of service as a member of the New Jersey State Parole Board. The Board works to ensure ex-prisoners return to society as law-abiding citizens. Appointed Parole Board Members and staff conduct more than 20,000 hearings per year, solicit input from victims and decide parole matters.
Before that, Mr. Wirths was Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development from February 2010 to September 2016. Working with a lot of good people, Commissioner Wirths was able to reform the operations of the Labor Department and put it on the right financial track. The Department became solvent again and ensured that New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, would be able to meet the new and great demands placed on it in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
Now New Jersey is leading the nation when it comes to combating unemployment insurance fraud. Using common-sense approaches, we have been able to stop nearly $700 million from being taken from the Trust Fund and recover more than $100 million from those who have collected unemployment benefits improperly. These measures will ensure that the Trust Fund remains solvent for years to come.
Under Commissioner Wirths’ leadership and with legislative support, a federal tax hike that New Jersey employers were facing in January 2014 was eliminated.
Due to the growing health and solvency of the Trust Fund, New Jersey employers have realized $380 million in tax relief – the largest single unemployment tax reduction in New Jersey history.
Due to his service as Labor Commissioner, Wirths served on the Economic Development Authority, State Ethics Commission, State Employment & Training Commission, and the State Health Benefits Design Committee.
Being Labor Commissioner has allowed Wirths to develop relationships with legislators and staff, enabling him to hit the ground running as an Assemblyman to better assist the district.
Wirths served as a Sussex County Freeholder for almost a decade, back when the Freeholder Board worked together to balance budgets and cut spending and debt. Making government run more efficiently was what they were about and they accomplished much.
For nearly 20 years, Wirths owned and managed two furniture stores. Wirths is one of the original founders of Noble Community Bank, which today is part of Highlands State Bank. He presently serves on the Board of Directors.
Wirths is an elected Sussex County Republican Committeeman with over 30 years of service to the GOP. He is a life member of the National Rifle Association and a Rotarian.
Awards & Recognition
FBI Recognition for Investigation of Great Importance
Thomas Kelly Government Service Award
New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Business Advocate of the Year Award
New Jersey Business & Industry Association Paul L. Troast Award for Public Service
National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) State Excellence Award for Leadership (SEAL) Award for Hurricane Sandy Response
US Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Innovation Award for Integrity
Rotary-Paul Harris Fellow Award
Sussex County Republican Committee Chairman's Award
Sussex County Economic Development Partnership Business Advocacy Award
Big Brothers/Big Sisters Service Award
President's Volunteer Service Award