Home>Articles>Madden stepped down as Gloucester Dem chairman in June

Senator Fred H. Madden Jr. at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address delivered on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Madden stepped down as Gloucester Dem chairman in June

New county chairman is Chad Bruner

By David Wildstein, August 17 2022 11:44 am

State Sen. Frederick Madden (D-Washington) surreptitiously stepped down from his post as Gloucester County Democratic Chairman in June and has been replaced by Chad Bruner, the county administrator.

Madden had not publicly announced his decision not to seek re-election and in some cases, county committee members in Gloucester were unaware that a leadership change was in the works prior to the reorganization meeting.

Bruner ran unopposed.

Despite the election of a new county chairman nearly two months ago, the Gloucester County Democratic website still lists Madden as their party leader.  There was no mention of Madden’s departure, Bruner’s election, or the party reorganization meeting on the Gloucester County Democratic Committee’s Facebook page.

“I didn’t realize Fred was no longer county chairman,” said a Democratic local officeholder who asked that his name be withheld.  “Maybe I just missed it, but I haven’t heard anyone talk about this.  I’m not really sure it matters all that much, as long as Steve (Sweeney) is still involved.”

Gloucester County Democratic Chairman Chad Bruner. (Photo: Gloucester County).

Gloucester County is one of the key battlegrounds of the 2022 general election.  Republicans won two county commissioner seats and the sheriff’s office last year and are positioned to take control of the county in November for the first time in decades.   In that same election, Sweeney, the Senate President, lost re-election to Republican Ed Durr.

Bruner, who is also the chairman of the Rowan University Board of Trustees, has been described as a key ally of Sweeney and Democratic powerhouse George Norcross.  He could be stakeholder number one in the race to hold a Democratic majority in a county that has tilted red in recent years; his own job as county administrator is on the line.

Madden was first elected county chairman in 2010 after Michael Angelini stepped down following controversy over his state pension.  Madden, who won a State Senate seat in 2003, won the post with Sweeney’s backing and without opposition.   Republicans took two freeholder seats in the first year Madden was county chairman but did not win again until last year.

There is speculation that Madden is preparing to retire from the State Senate next year – he had been ready to leave public office before but was convinced to run again – and his departure as county chairman could be a precursor to that.

Legislative redistricting made the 4th legislative district more competitive for next year’s elections and is now at the top of Republican targets to increase seats.

Editor’s note: the New Jersey Globe was unaware of Madden’s departure until Tuesday evening.  The election of a new county chairman was not reported in either of the South Jersey newspapers that cover Gloucester County, the South Jersey Times and the Courier-Post.

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