Kevin J. O’Toole, the chairman of the Port Authority of New Jersey and New Jersey and a 23-year veteran of the New Jersey Legislature, has joined the New Jersey Globe as a regular columnist.
The longtime New Jersey official, who has strong relationships with Republicans and Democrats and is one of the most powerful political insiders in the state, will share his views in a column called “The O’Toole Chronicles.”
O’Toole had been a popular columnist for InsiderNJ since 2017. For the convenience of our readers, his archives have been transferred to the New Jersey Globe.
The 55-year-old head of a politically influential North Jersey law firm, O’Toole has spent more than 35 year in New Jersey politics. He started out as an intern in the office of Rep. Joseph G. Minish (D-West Orange) and later served as a legislative aide to Assemblyman John V. Kelly (R-Nutley.)
In 1989, a month before his graduation from Seton Hall Law School, O’Toole was elected to the Cedar Grove Township Council. He became mayor in 1990.
He was elected to the State Assembly in 1995, briefly served an interim state senator in 2001, and then returned to the lower house until winning a State Senate seat in 2007. He has represented parts of Essex, Bergen, Passaic and Union counties during his career as a legislator.
He also spent thirteen years as the Essex County GOP chairman.
O’Toole had already announced his intention to retire from the Senate in 2017 when Gov. Chris Christie nominated him to serve as a Port Authority Commissioner. He became chairman later that year following the resignation of John Degnan.