Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton was inducted into the newly created New Jersey Association of Counties Hall of Fame on Thursday.
The organization honored freeholders who have served at least 20 years on their boards. Thornton served as a freeholder from 1976 to 1987 and then returned to the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1995 and has been serving ever since.
“It was such an honor to be recognized by the New Jersey Association of Counties,” said Thornton. “I am truly grateful to represent the residents of Cape May County for all of these years.”
Thornton began his most recent tenure as freeholder director in 2011. At that time, he assumed the responsibilities of overseeing the county administration, clerk of the board, emergency management and the Treasurer’s Office, among others.
Previously, he was the freeholder overseeing Health and Human Services, where his departments created several programs that would be later adopted statewide.
Thornton is a proud veteran who served for 11 years with the U.S. Air Force. He attended technical schools, including Air Traffic Controller, Space Tracking and Telemetry, Automatic Radar, Management and Supervision and Non-Commissioned Officers Academy.
“It has been an honor to serve on the same freeholder board as Jerry,” said Cape May County Freeholder Vice Director Leonard Desiderio, the Sea Isle City mayor, who has served with Thornton since 2002. “He has been a great leader for Cape May County. On behalf of our freeholder board, I want to congratulate him on another well-deserved award.”