Kevin J. Hoagland, the Middlesex County Surrogate for the last 28 years, announced today that he would retire at the end of 2020, two years before his current term expires.
Gov. Phil Murphy will nominate a successor, who must be confirmed by the State Senate. That triggers a 2021 election that will put the surrogate post on a new five-year term cycle.
“Kevin Hoagland is a trailblazer, a leader and one of the finest public servants in our county and in the State of New Jersey,” said Middlesex County Democratic chairman Kevin McCabe and Vice Chair Beatrice Moskowitz. “He is a man who has overcome great personal adversity to help tens of thousands of people in our region, especially at critical times when they are themselves dealing with personal loss.”
Hoagland, 60, became a quadriplegic at age 18 after an accident in his home.
“Not only has Kevin pioneered the Surrogate’s Office in making the topic of wills, trusts and estates more accessible to people in their time of need, but he has led the way in helping so many families in the critical days of their children’s lives by encouraging adoption,” McCabe and Moskowitz said. “His entire legacy speaks to an abiding concern for the well-being of our most vulnerable residents.”
He first won the seat in 1992, at age 33, when Surrogate Donald Olsen retired. Hoagland defeated Republican Jacqueline Thompson, the wife of now-State Sen. Samuel Thompson (D-Old Bridge) by about 6,000 votes, 51%-49%. His win came after Republicans had scored countywide victories in 1990 and 1991.
Hoagland came from a politically influential family. His father, John Hoagland, served as a Middlesex County freeholder and spent 12 years as county counsel.
“It is no exaggeration to say that Kevin has set the template for the kind of public servant we all aspire to be: caring, selfless and determined to help those who need help the most,” McCabe and Moskowitz stated. “We thank him for his many years of service and look forward to relying on his sage counsel for many years to come.”