William A. Macchi, a likeable Jersey City politician who ran for mayor as the handpicked successor of Paul Jordan in 1977, passed away on Thursday. He was 70 and died of complications from cancer.
Macchi was Jersey City’s director of Human Resources when Jordan decided to forgo a third term and challenge Gov. Brendan Byrne in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Macchi lost to City Clerk Thomas F.X. Smith by a 54%-26% margin. The seismic shift in Jersey City politics in May caused Jordan to withdraw as a candidate for governor and led to the defeat of State Sen. James Dugan (D-Jersey City), the sitting Democratic State Chairman, in the June primary by Walter Sheil.
He also served a director of the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services, the Hudson County’s office of Catholic Community Services and the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority. Macchi was an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College.
Macchi later returned to City Hall as deputy mayor under Bret Schundler. Schundler convinced Macchi to run as the Republican candidate for Hudson County Executive; he got destroyed by the Democratic incumbent, Robert Janiszewski.
He was among the first group of twelve laypeople in the Newark Archdiocese to be appointed as extraordinary ministers. Macchi he was active for years with the Cursillo movement.
A wake will be held Monday and Tuesday from 4-8 PM at the Greenville Memorial Funeral Home in Jersey City. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 AM on Wednesday at Our Lady of Mercy in Jersey City.