Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe, one of the most powerful people in New Jersey politics, is joining River Crossing Strategy Group as a partner heading a new public affairs division.
He teams up with Eric Shuffler, a longtime New Jersey political insider with strong relationships across the state.
“Kevin and I share a passion for good government, practical politics, and the Mets” said Shuffler. “Kevin is one of the state’s smartest political strategists and brings a wealth of marketing experience, governmental and political insights and relationships to the firm.”
McCabe is a former state Commissioner of Labor and served as president of the Carpenters Contractor Trust. He is a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“Eric and I have been friends for nearly 20 years, since our time working together in the McGreevey Administration and I am thrilled to be joining a firm that he and his colleagues have already established as a powerhouse in New Jersey and the region,” said McCabe. “I am also grateful for the opportunities and experience afforded to me by the Carpenters Contractors Trust who for so many years, have provided me with management and leadership experience that I intend to put in service of this exciting new chapter of my career.”
Shuffler founded the firm in 2007 with powerhouse Jamie Fox, who was a partner until his untimely death in 2017.
“Jamie Fox and I built our business by combining intense client service with keen insight and strategic guidance,” Shuffler said. “Kevin embodies those values and Jamie was extremely proud of his development into one of New Jersey’s top political leaders. I know Jamie would be ecstatic that Kevin is joining the firm to build upon what we started.”
According to the firm, McCabe will help expand their grassroots and coalition building, crisis communications and branding and marketing services.
He was ranked #4 on the New Jersey Globe Power List in 2018 and 2019.
“A couple of generations ago, Kevin McCabe would have been the type of Democratic leader to excel working for John F. Kennedy and then shine working for Lyndon B. Johnson. Nobody in New Jersey politics today can rival McCabe’s political acumen and ability to assemble a coalition,” the Globe wrote in the most recent Power List. “He’s one of the few people in New Jersey politics who knows how to carry a knife without the need to hold it up against someone’s carotid artery.”
McCabe was elected county chairman in 2013. Since then, he’s emerged as one of the state’s most influential Democrats, with Middlesex at its most commanding point since the John Lynch era ended more than fifteen years ago.
One of McCabe’s top political allies is Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, a Middlesex County Democrat who comes from one of six legislative. All four Middlesex Democratic senators chair Senate committees; three Assembly Democrats chair committees, as do three others who represent large portions of Middlesex County.
McCabe delivered a 50,042 vote margin (58%) for U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is 2018, and 29,907 (57%) for Gov. Phil Murphy in 2017.
Yasmin Brissac, a Middlesex County Democratic Party staffer, will also join River Crossing Strategy Group.
Shuffler served as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Bob Torricelli, held senior staff positions under Governors James E. McGreevey and Richard Codey and was chief of staff at the New Jersey Department of Transportation. He headed the New Jersey Office of Recovery and Victim Assistance after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, leading New Jersey’s efforts to help the families and secure federal recovery dollars.