On January 6, 2021, my wife was baby-sitting our one-year old granddaughter. I decided to work from home so I could spend some quality time with them and watch the presidential election certification. As we watched a process that had taken place for more than 200 years without an issue, the unthinkable began to happen. We watched, as many of you did, in disbelief, in anger, in tears as the greatest threat in modern history to our democracy began to unfold, a riot and insurrection in our U.S. Capitol. We were devastated. As I held my granddaughter, I looked into her eyes, she has the biggest, most beautiful blue eyes and I thought, how in 10, 11, 12 years would I explain to her what had happened. More importantly, I thought, how could I ever look her in the eyes again and tell her that her pop pop could have done something but I chose to do nothing.


My name is Hector Tavarez. I’m a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress running in New Jersey’s 2nd District to defeat Jeff Van Drew to bring honor and respect back to South Jersey. I’ve lived here my entire life, was born in Hammonton, grew up in Mullica Township and attended Oakcrest High School in Mays Landing.


I grew up in a large 9-person family with my parents, 4 sisters and 2 brothers. We all lived in a small house with just one, tiny, bathroom. To make it more interesting we had more than the occasional aunt, uncle or cousin that would come stay with us. My parents still live in our childhood home.


My wife of 32 years, Denise, and I have lived in Egg Harbor Township for the last 34 years. We have 3 incredible children and two amazing granddaughters.


I am blessed to have a great family, fantastic teachers and mentors, many of whom were police officers.  While I had a great childhood, it does not mean that I did not have my fair share of challenges and setbacks.


I was hired by the Egg Harbor Township Police department in 1986 at the age of 20. From the beginning I was a community-oriented police officer. Meaning, I preferred to proactively serve our community, recognize problems and prevent crime rather than have to solve a crime. I chose to become a police officer because I wanted to help people in ways I had been helped.


In 1989 I, along with 5 other officers who believed what I believed, and with the help of many volunteers and local businesses, started the Egg Harbor Township Police Athletic League (PAL). Our goal was to improve the relationship between the youth in our community and our police officers and It worked!


After 25 years of service, in 2011, I retired as a Captain. Today, I proudly continue to serve as the Executive Director of our PAL, now called the Police Activities League of Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic County to better reflect our growth and the community we serve. We made a difference then and 32 years and more than 30,000 children later we continue to make a difference. Our PAL is one of the largest Police Activities League in the Country not being funded and paid for by tax dollars, but working with government, the business community and citizens to improve our communities.


I love my job at the PAL and the work our team does. I’ve always thought the best way for me to serve my community was to continue our work at PAL. However, after the events of the last five years and the January 6th insurrection and attack on the U.S. Capitol, I knew I needed to do more.


I’ve seen and heard enough, and I believe so have you, as well as the rest of South Jersey! It’s convinced me that it’s time to act, to continue to serve, but in a different way. Now, more than ever, it’s time for us to fight for our country, our people and our Democracy. I’ll work tirelessly to restore honor and integrity to South Jersey.


I’m running for U.S. Congress in South Jersey because I believe it’s all about treating our seniors with honor and respect while still protecting the future of our children and grandchildren.


As your next Congressman I’ll work to bring affordable and quality health and mental care to all Americans as a human right including reasonable prescription prices.


I will follow the science and work toward reasonable actions to stop COVID-19 and protect American lives while preserving the South Jersey economy.


We will push for realistic but impactful climate change solutions to save our planet, strongly support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, support our military, veterans and our first responders and pass a term limits bill.


We will fight for equality & justice while dismantling systemic inequities. We will create quality jobs for South Jersey so our children and grandchildren can work, live and succeed right here in South Jersey and we need, and I will strongly support, our Labor Unions to do just that.


I will support police and justice reform. As a retired police captain, I was on the frontlines for 25 years, leading the fight to improve policing.  Let me be crystal clear, we will not defund the police. I will support my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. We will provide them with the resources they need to better protect and serve all people with honor and respect. As a former police officer, I’ve already worked to effect change right here in South Jersey and now I want to take that work to Congress where I can lead the effort to reform policing across the nation.


I will be a Congressman who stands for truth and justice. I will never sacrifice my morals and ethics to win a job . . . like Jeff Van Drew.


As your next Congressman, I will meet with our constituents, listen and respond to their needs with integrity and transparency.  I will not hide from the people . . . like Jeff Van Drew.


I will only be loyal to the American people and you, the people of South Jersey. I will never blindly follow or pledge my undying loyalty to a president . . . like Jeff Van Drew.


I will be a Congressman that leads from the front. I will seek to unite us, to protect our democracy. I will not undermine our democracy by spreading lies and half-truths . . . like Jeff Van Drew.


As a retired police captain, lifetime community activist, founder and executive director of a successful nonprofit, I’m uniquely prepared and qualified to actively contribute as a member of Congress on day one, and to be a leader for South Jersey and our nation.


My name is Hector Tavarez and I will never look my children and grandchildren in the eye knowing that I chose to do nothing to save our Democracy.


I ask for your energy, your time, your voice and I ask for unity. I ask for your vote in New Jersey’s Democratic primary on June 7th, 2022.


May God bless our troops, educators, health care workers, and first responders… and may God bless the United States of America!