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NJ leaders at the 2019 Statesman Academy


Our culture is growing increasingly hostile to traditional Judeo-Christian values. Therefore, elected officials who are followers of Christ—especially those who aspire to higher positions—face tremendous, ever-increasing pressure to compromise. Amid this struggle for the soul of our nation, God is raising up many promising legislators, specifically to counteract the destructive agenda of the radical left’s moral progressivism. These committed servants have the potential to lead with Christian integrity and help restore our nation, state by state, so that God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.

To accomplish this vision, a few years ago, Family Policy Foundation® launched the nonpartisan Statesmen Academy℠. The annual Academy provides intensive training from experienced Christian legislators—proven statesmen and women—for newly elected and aspiring officials from both major political parties. The 2019 Statesman Academy is taking place this week in Atlanta, GA.

Attendees must complete a rigorous process to qualify for entry into the Academy. New Jersey is privileged to have two individuals attending this year’s training.

Mr. Robert Arace

Rob Arace is a data analyst from Manchester, New Jersey, who is strongly considering a run for elected office in the future.  Rob currently works in digital marketing and analysis at a large consultancy company.  He also serves as president of his local Republican party and co-leads his church’s young adult ministry with his wife, Deanna.

Mrs. Sylvia Petillo

Sylvia Petillo is a current Sussex County freeholder and previous mayor of Hopatcong, New Jersey.  She has also served as city councilwoman and school board member.  Sylvia and her husband, Ron, own a site-development company.  Together, they have two children and three grandchildren, and reside in Hopatcong, New Jersey

Best Selling author John Maxwell has repeatedly said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Without question, future and current leaders such as Robert and Sylvia are instrumental in making NJ a better state. As they return to the Garden State to perhaps develop their campaigns and legislative priorities, we will identify future candidates within NJ to attend the Family Policy Foundation’s 2020 Statesman Academy.

It was James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) who said: “The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generation.”

The statesmen academy is poised to bring more statesmen to the public square. A noble goal and a pressing need!

Len Deo
Founder and President
New Jersey Family Policy Council

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy – New Jersey
Family Policy Alliance

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