Michael Adamo, a former Paterson police union president who served three-terms on the Passaic County Board of Freeholders, died on Friday.
Adamo was elected freeholder in 1988, running on the Republican ticket with incumbent John Morley and Norman Robertson. They defeated Democrats John Currie, Paterson councilman Roy Griffin and former freeholder J.R. Russo, by more than 8,000 votes. The win gave the GOP 7-0 control of the freeholder board for the first time since 1962.
Following the death of Frank X. Graves in 1990, Adamo ran for mayor of Paterson. He finished third in a field of four candidates, with Assemblyman Bill Pascrell, Jr. winning with 51% of the vote.
The three incumbent freeholders won again in the 1991 Republican landslide, defeating Democrats John Sinsimer, Gilbert Benson and Joan Waks by more than 16,000 votes. In 1994, Adamo. Morley and Robertson defeated William Bate, Pat DiIanni and Kenneth Sorkin by 7,000 votes.
In 1996, Adamo sought an open 3rd Ward seat on the Paterson city council when incumbent Sonia Rosado declined to seek re-election. Martin Barnes, a former councilman, beat Adamo by 313 votes. Barnes became mayor when Pascrell resigned to become a congressman seven months later.
Adamo did not seek re-election to a fourth term in 1997 after losing party support amidst a series of scandals that helped Democrats James Gallagher and Lois Cuccinello win freeholder seats. Passaic Democrats had won two seats in 1996 — Georgia Scott and Peter Eagler — giving them control of county government after the 1997 election.
Correction: an early version of this story listed Scott as Cuccinello’s running mate in 1997.