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Former Hudson County Freeholder Neil Carroll, right, with former Rep. Cornelius Gallagher. Carroll served as Gallagher's chief of staff in the early 1960's.

Bayonne legend Neil Carroll dies

Former Hudson freeholder was chief of staff to four NJ congressmen

By David Wildstein, December 15 2018 3:55 pm

Neil Carroll, a former Hudson County freeholder and a legend in local politics in Bayonne and across North Jersey, passed away today.  He was 91.

Carroll served as chief of staff  to four U.S. Congressmen.

He started out working for Rep. Cornelius Gallagher (D-Bayonne) in 1963, and then for Rep. Dominick Daniels (D-Jersey City), Rep. Joseph LeFante (D-Bayonne), and Rep. Frank Guarini (D-Jersey City).

Carroll was elected to the Hudson County Board of Freeholders in 1996 and served one term.

During the administration of Gov. Jim Florio, Carroll served as chairman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.

He also served as chief of staff to the Hudson County freeholder chairman, and to Assemblyman Sal Vega (D-West New York).  He also served on the Hudson County School of Technology Board of Education.

He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War.

His son-in-law, Mark Smith, served as mayor of Bayonne.  His grandson, Neil Carroll III, was appointed to the Bayonne City Council last month.

“I am saddened to hear about the passing of former Hudson County Freeholder Neil Carroll Sr.,” said Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York).  “My sympathies go out to his family during this difficult time. He served his country with distinction in the Navy during both WWII and Korea and he applied the same dedication during his service in government. Through Neil’s years of service his first true love was his hometown of Bayonne where he served as Freeholder.”

This story was updated at 9:35 AM on Monday, December 17 to include comment from Sires.

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