Senate President Steve Sweeney today described Peter Barnes as “one of the most honorable and accomplished public servants in our lifetime.”
Barnes, who would have turned 90 tomorrow, passed away earlier today.
“He was a man of decency and integrity who treated everyone with equal measures of respect and who, in turn, earned the respect and the admiration of everyone who knew him. Peter had a soft-spoken demeanor, but he possessed a rock-solid commitment to the enduring values of honesty and selfless service,” Sweeney said. “Peter would never boast about himself, but he had a remarkable career of public service. From serving his country in the armed services to a distinguished career as an FBI agent investigating bank robberies, white-collar crime and national security, to representing his home community in the Legislature, to directing the work of the Parole Board and overseeing the public safety operations in both Edison and East Brunswick, he set an example of selfless leadership that will be part of his legacy.”
Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe also mourned the loss of Barnes, who represented his county in the Legislature for 22 years.
“It is with a heavy heart that I learned today of the passing of Assemblyman Peter Barnes II, who served Middlesex County so faithfully for so many years, both in the Legislature and during his time as its Democratic Chairman,” said McCabe. “I would also be remiss not to note that Assemblyman Barnes passed on a day when we commemorate the fallen and the first responders who gave their lives in service to our nation. As a former FBI agent, Assemblyman Barnes embodied the spirit we remember today: courage, service and unwavering ethics and loyalty. On behalf of the MCDO, we offer his family our prayers and strength during this difficult time. Laurie and I will keep the entire Barnes family in our prayers.”