John Strazzullo, whose election to the Pennsauken Township Committee in 1972 ended 76 years of Republican control, died on March 3. He was 83.
He began his political career in 1969 as a candidate for the New Jersey State Assembly. Camden County Democrats instead picked Barrington mayor Thomas Lunn and Joseph Master, a 25-year-old law student from Woodbury. They lost the general election to Republicans Tom Shusted and James Turner.
Strazzullo and Siegfried Horowitz ousted Republican incumbent Christian Arlen and running mate Vince Garbarino by more than 800 votes, even as President Richard Nixon and U.S. Senator Clifford Case were carrying Pennsauken. Strazzullo was the top vote-getter.
With Democrat Manrico D’Anastasio already in office – Strazzullo had managed D’Anastasio’s first campaign in 1966 — Democrats now had a 3-2 majority.
Strazzullo did not seek re-election to a second term in 1975. He became township solicitor, counsel to the Pennsauken Solid Waste Management Authority, labor negotiator, and Democratic municipal chairman.
In 1992, Strazzullo was appointed Pennsauken municipal court judge. He held that post until 2005.
Strazzullo is survived by his wife, Carole, four children and eight grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at the Falco/Caruso & Leonard Pennsauken Funeral Home from 6-8 PM on Wednesday and from 8:30-9:30 AM on Thursday. A mass will be held on 10 AM Thursday at the Church of St. Peter in Merchantville.