Saddle Brook councilman Joseph Setticase, a Democrat who was up for re-election in November, withdrew from the race Tuesday, less than two months before election day.
The 16-year council veteran said he will serve out the remainder of his current term that runs through the end of the year, but has decided against running for re-election in order to spend more time with his family.
"It's a full-time job," Setticase said of serving on the council. Once his term is up, Setticase said he's eager to reinvest his newfound time into his three young sons' athletic endeavors.
While he only decided to withdraw his name from the ballot this week, Setticase said he'd been mulling the decision for months.
The longtime councilman said his decision to withdraw from the race was unrelated to the in wake of council's vote last week to grandfather in health benefits for township officials elected or appointed prior to Jan. 1, 2011.
Had he been elected in November, Setticase would have been eligible for lifetime health benefits at the end of his next term, which would have marked 20 years of consecutive service to the Saddle Brook community.
Democratic municipal chairman and Saddle Brook council candidate Omar Rodriguez, a frequent critic of Setticase and the entire Saddle Brook council, took to Twitter Tuesday to wish the departing councilman well in his future endeavors.
Rodriguez said he expects the party will select another candidate to replace Setticase on the ballot by Thursday afternoon. Rodriguez and sitting councilwoman Florence Mazzer are the other two Democrats currently running for election.