Home>Highlight>Monica Walsh, popular NJ political figure, dies at 67

Monica Walsh, popular NJ political figure, dies at 67

Former reporter was an Assembly staffer, lobbyist and councilwoman

By David Wildstein, May 11 2019 3:37 am

Monica Walsh-Petracco, a well-liked and much-admired fixture in Trenton for decades as a reporter, Assembly staffer, lobbyist and councilwoman, died on May 7.  She was 67.

Walsh was a second-generation newspaper reporter, working for the Ocean County Daily Observer.  Her late father, Edward Walsh, had worked for the Star-Ledger and the Asbury Park Press.

She joined the administration of Gov. Brendan Byrne as the public information officer for the state Department of Education in 1976.

Walsh went to work for Assembly Speaker Alan J. Karcher as communications director in 1983.

She made her way to lobbying, becoming vice president of a firm run by Hazel Gluck, a former Republican assemblywoman from Ocean County who had been in Gov. Thomas Kean’s cabinet.  She also worked for the Marcus Group and started her own lobbying firm.

Walsh ran for the Point Pleasant Beach Borough Council in 1993 and won by one vote.  After a recount, she had led GOP council president Barbara Reid by one vote and the other Republican candidate, Leonard Luccioni, by two votes.   She had lost her first bid two years earlier.

She served four terms as a Democrat in a heavily Republican municipality.

Walsh was predeceased by three husbands and her sister, longtime state government official Deirde Walsh-Fedkenheuer.

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