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Former Burlington County Sheriff Gary L. Daniels. (Photo: Burlington County Republicans).

Gary Daniels, former Burlington sheriff, dies at 66

By David Wildstein, December 05 2022 8:47 pm

Gary Daniels, who served two terms as Burlington County Sheriff and was the second Black sheriff to win election in Burlington, died this morning.  He was 66.

When Daniels was elected in 1995, he was the 38-year-old chief of the Burlington County Bridge Police.  He had served as a Burlington City police officer and assistant Burlington County prosecutor.

He succeeded Edward Cummings, who became the first Black sheriff in 1992 when Burlington County Republicans dropped incumbent Henry Metzger from the organization line. 

Cummings lasted one term and Republicans replaced him with Daniels, who won the general election by over 11,000 votes and about seventeen percentage points against Democrat John Gibson, a guard at the county jail. 

Daniels was re-elected in 1998, again by roughly 11,000 votes (56%-44%) against Democrat Kenneth Phillips, a sheriff’s officer and the president of PBA Local 248.

In a bid to flip two Democratic Assembly seats in the 7th legislative district in 1999, Republicans ran Daniels against two incumbents, Herbert Conaway (D-Delran) and Jack Connors (D-Pennsauken).  Connors had defeated Republican Kenneth Faulkner by 67 votes in 1997; after an election challenge voided the results Connors faced off against Faulkner in a 1998 special election and won by twelve points.

Connors defeated Daniels by 4,581 votes, with Conaway running 150 votes behind Connors.

Daniels did not seek re-election to a third term in 2001 and was replaced by Republican Jean Stanfield, his undersheriff.  

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