Cape May County Freeholders E. Marie Hayes and Gerald Thornton are seeking re-election.

 Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, an Ocean City resident, and Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton, of Cape May Court House, are officially off and running in the November election for two spots on the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Tapped for the Republican ticket at the recent GOP Convention in Avalon, the two incumbents filed their nomination petitions earlier this week. They were then sworn in officially by Rita Marie Fulginiti, the Cape May County clerk.

Hayes has been a freeholder since February 2013, when she filled the unexpired term of M. Susan Sheppard, an attorney who resigned to accept a position as a Superior Court judge. She was re-elected in November 2014 to her first three-year term, which expires Dec. 31, according to her freeholder bio.

“I am blessed to be a freeholder and I pledge to do my best to continue to serve the interests of those who elected me,” Hayes said in a recent interview.

Freeholder E. Marie Hayes addresses the Ocean City Republican Club at the VFW hall on Tuesday.

Hayes said she is proud to share the ticket with Thornton, the board’s director and longest-serving freeholder in Cape May County history. He has served on the board continuously since he was elected in 1995. He was also a freeholder for 11 years from 1976 to 1987.

“I’m excited the election is on, and we will be taking our message to the people,” Hayes said. “At the same time, we’re going to listen and be responsive to the people’s concerns.”

Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton also speaks to the Ocean City Republican Club at the VFW hall.

Thornton echoed Hayes’ sentiments.

“We’re extremely happy to be running with the (Republican) legislative team of Mike Testa, (for state Senate), and (Ocean City resident) Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen for the Assembly seats,” he said. “We’re eager to get this election going.”

From left, the Republican ticket includes Assembly candidates Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen, Senate candidate Michael Testa and Freeholders Gerald Thornton and E. Marie Hayes.