HOPEWELL - A borough councilman with ties to a national white supremacist group will resign the post he has held for less than two weeks.
Marc Moran announced Saturday that he would step down, just one day after he vowed to retain the council seat to which he was appointed. He also will relinquish his spot on the ballot in the November election.
"I had a long talk with my wife and we discussed why I took this seat in the first place," Moran, 43, told The Times of Trenton. "I took it because I wanted to help Hopewell Borough. But I don't think my being on the council is helping Hopewell Borough, so I'm stepping down."
Moran acknowledged he belongs to the National Alliance, a West Virginia group that promotes segregationist living and Aryan values.
He denied being a racist or an anti-Semite and said he joined the group because he agrees with its views on illegal immigration and civil liberties.
"I do not ascribe to 100 percent of any group I'm involved in," said Moran, whose family has roots in the community stretching back generations.
Moran bowed to mounting pressure from elected officials and neighbors to give up his post.
Mayor David Nettles, who originally offered Moran's name to fill the vacancy on council, said he was relieved to learn of the resignation.
"He called and told me he intended to resign because it would be better for the borough and I think he's right," Nettles said. "This was a major distraction for everyone here and I'm sure it's caused him and his family a great deal of pain.
"He apologized for the commotion he's caused and I thanked him on behalf of the borough for resigning," the mayor said.
Moran was unapologetic about his affiliation, or about essays he authored, which were posted on the Internet, denouncing cultural diversity and immigration.
"Sometimes your personal beliefs take a back seat to the good of everyone else," Moran said. "I have a wife and son to worry about and a baby on the way. These are the things I have to consider. I have to protect my family."