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Former Assemblyman dies at 80

Gerard Naples chaired the Assembly Education Committee

By David Wildstein, April 12 2018 9:34 am

Former Assemblyman Gerard Naples, who served five terms representing Mercer County in the New Jersey State Assembly, died on April 9.  He was 80.

Naples was elected to the Assembly in 1981, after redistricting separated Trenton and Hamilton into separate legislative districts.  He and John S. Watson, the father of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, defeated incumbent Assemblyman Clifford Snedeker and former Princeton Mayor Richard Woodbridge in the new 15th district.

After easily winning re-election in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1989, Naples became the Chairman of the Assembly Education Committee.  But in 1991, after voting for Jim Florio’s tax increases, he lost the heavily Democratic district, finishing fourth.  Watson survived by just 135 votes and Naples lost to Republican John Hartmann by 5,010 votes.

An educator and pro-life Democrat, Naples was first elected to the Trenton City Council in 1966.  Two years later, he attracted national attention when he called for muggers to be shot on site.  He did it when a local businessman asked the council to adopt the death penalty for muggers.

The Rite of Reception will be held at 9 AM on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at Our Lady of the Angels Parish/St. Joachim’s Church in Trenton, with calling hours to follow until time of Mass. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 AM. at Our Lady of the Angels/St. Joachim’s Church, Trenton.

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