Phyllis Marchand, a legendary Central Jersey political figure who spent 14 years as the Mayor of Princeton Township, died on March 25. She was 81.
Marchand also spent seven years as a councilwoman and served as president of the New Jersey League of Municipalities in 1993. She won her first election 1986 and spent 21 years in local office until her retirement.
At the time of her election, Republicans had a 5-0 majority on the Princeton Township Council. The election of Marchand and fellow Democrat Janet Mitchell reduce the GOP control to 3-2. The two provided a formidable minority party against the Republican mayor, Gail Firestone.
In that election, Marchand and Mitchell ousted Republican Councilman William Cherry and his running mate, Tom Royal, by about 175 votes. She was re-elected to six additional three-year terms.
Marchand served prior to the merger of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough and saw a consolidation referendum get voted down three times.
According to her family, Marchand had spent more than 15 years fighting various lymphomas and suffered a grand mal seizure on March 1.
“We learned that Phyllis’s lymphoma had spread to her brain,” her family said. “Doctors on both Phyllis’s neurology and oncology teams agreed that any further treatment of her lymphoma would be ultimately futile and cruel.”