Fred Sacco, well known to political insiders during his twenty years as executive vice president of the New Jersey Fuel Merchants’ Association, passed away today. He was 81.
He started out in politics as a staffer on Gov. Richard Hughes’ re-election campaign. Sacco later served as Mercer County Young Democrats, as director of voter registration for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, and as secretary of the Mercer County Democratic Committee. He was also the associate director of the Petroleum Council of New Jersey.
Sacco was an old-school political junkie from the days of Thorn Lord, Sido Ridolfi, Dick Coffee and Hughes.
“He would tell stories of Thorn Lord and the time he sat in the kitchen at Morven pouring coffee for Dick Hughes, who was in his robe,” said Eric DeGesero, who was hired by Sacco at the fuel merchants group in 1994 and then succeeded him when he retired in 1999. “He would hold court at the back table at Commini’s (restaurant in Trenton) with (Senator) Pete McDonough, and (lobbyist) Tom Kean (lobbyist). He was one of a kind.”
Former Morris County Prosecutor Michael Murphy, who was Hughes’ stepson, has great memories of Sacco.
“Fred was a great guy, did a lot of advance work in 1965. Unmatched for his enthusiasm and hard work,” said Murphy. “Loved Dad and thoroughly enjoyed the old shoe leather and hand to hand campaigning of the ’60’s. Had a charming Frankie Valli look, popular for the era. Dad thanked him for his hard work every day.”
A viewing will be held on Sunday from 1-4 PM at the Brenna Funeral Home, Immordino Chapel in Hamilton. Services will be held on Sunday at 4PM.