Former Bergen County Republican chair Marlene Casey, one of the most likable and respected GOP leaders in the county, passed away on Saturday. She was 76.
“I will forever remember Chairwoman Casey at the last fundraiser she hosted for me, where six of us sat at Marlene’s kitchen table with Rudy Giuliani having her homemade meatballs and spaghetti,” said Assemblyman Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan). “The company was great and so was the food. Marlene’s passing is a big loss, I loved her a lot.”
She ran a successful grant writing business that worked with numerous government and non-profit entities in New Jersey.
Casey became county chair in 2001 when Henk Shotmeyer resigned. She ran in a special election for the post but lost to freeholder James Sheehan by a vote of 412 to 218.
In 2002, she lost her vice chair position to Mary Ann Lamber by a 398 to 145 vote.
Casey served as New Milford Republican municipal chair, as a member of the Bergen County Planning board, and as chair of the New Milford Historic Preservation Committee.
In 2000, working with state committeewoman Eleonore Nissley, Casey played a key role in helping Rep. Bob Franks (R-Warren) win the endorsement of the Northeast Bergen Republican Organization (NERO) and then the Bergen County GOP convention for U.S. Senate despite the top party leadership backing State Sen. Bill Gormley (R-Margate).