By Cleve Bryan

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – The sudden death of former Atlantic City Mayor and N.J. State Senator Jim Whelan has the mayors who followed in his footsteps reflecting on their mentor.

“When you hear Jim Whelan’s name you automatically think of Atlantic City,” says Atlantic City Fire Chief Scott Evans who served as city mayor for a year in 2007.

Evans says Whelan was one of the first people he sought for advice after taking office on an interim basis.

“He always kept his cool he was very smart and methodical and he knew what it took to get business done,” says Evans.

Current Mayor Don Guardian says even though Sen. Whelan (D- NJ2) was a member of his rival political party, he always put the city’s needs above politics.

“Jim devoted his life to public service, all he wanted for him and Kathy to be able to retire in January so it’s sad he never got to do that,” says Guardian.

According to a statement from his office Whelan, 68, died of a heart attack in his home on Tuesday while getting ready for an interview with Netflix about Atlantic City.

 

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