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Thomas P.J. Barrett, the New Jersey political reporter for the New York Herald Tribune in the 1950s and 1960s, right, with President John F. Kennedy and Essex County Democratic Chairman Dennis Carey.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, New Jersey

By David Wildstein, March 17 2020 2:02 am

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a partial list of Irish American New Jersey political leaders of the past that you should know about:

* Thomas P.J. Barrett covered New Jersey politics for the New York Herald Tribune in the 1950s and 1960s.  His son is Tom Barrett, a Democratic state committeeman from Essex County and a top New Jersey political strategist.

New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Maurice Brady. Photo by Ace Alagna. Seton Hall University Libraries, The Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center

* Maurice Brady represented Hudson County in the New Jersey State Assembly from 1952 to 1968 and served twice as Assembly Speaker.  He later served as Hudson County Register of Deeds and Mortgages.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.

* William J. Brennan, Jr. was named to the New Jersey Supreme Court by Gov. Alfred Driscoll in 1951 and to the U.S. Supreme Court by Gov. Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.  He spent 34 years on the top court – one of the most significant jurists of the 20th century.

Four New Jersey Governors, left to right: Robert B. Meyner, William T Cahill, Brendan T. Byrne and Richard J. Hughes. Ace Alagna collection courtesy of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University Libraries, South Orange.

* Brendan Byrne served as governor of New Jersey from 1974 to 1982.  He was a former executive secretary (now called chief of staff) to Gov. Robert Meyner and served as Essex County prosecutor and as a Superior Court Judge.

* William Cahill served as governor of New Jersey from 1970 to 1974.  He had previously served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and as an assemblyman from Camden County.

Newark Mayor Leo Carlin, left, was the president of the local Teamsters and Chauffeurs union.

* Leo Carlin served as mayor of Newark from 1954 to 1962.  He had served as an assemblyman, Newark school board president, city commissioner, and president of the Brotherhood of Teamsters and Chauffeurs Local 478.

Essex County Democratic Chairman Dennis Carey, center, with Rep. Peter Rodino (D-Newark), left, and former Gov. Robert Meyner. Ace Alagna collection courtesy of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University Libraries, South Orange.

* Dennis Carey was the Essex County Democratic chairman from 1953 to 1968.

Essex County Sheriff John F. Cryan, left, and Rep. Peter Rodino (D-Newark). Ace Alagna collection courtesy of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University Libraries, South Orange.

* John Cryan, born in Ireland, was a three-term Essex County sheriff and a two-term assemblyman.  His son, Joseph Cryan, represents Union County in the New Jersey Senate.

Former New Jersey Senate President Frank “Pat” Dodd

* Frank “Pat” Dodd represented Essex County in the State Assembly and State Senate during a career that spanned from 1964 to 1982.  He was the Senate President in 1974 and 1975, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1981, and a member of the state Casino Control Commission.

* Thomas Dunn served as mayor of Elizabeth from 1964 to 1992 and as a state senator, assemblyman and Union County freeholder.

Former New Jersey Democratic State Chairman Raymond Durkin

* Raymond Durkin was the skilled Essex County Democratic chairman and served as New Jersey Democratic State chairman from 1985 to 1989.

Former Rep. Bernard J. Dwyer (D-Edison)

* Bernard Dwyer began a twelve-year career as a congressman after serving as mayor of Edison and as Senate Majority Leader.

Rep. John J. Eagan (D-Jersey City). Photo of U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

* John Eagan served three terms as a congressman from Hudson County until he was defeated in 1920 by Republican Oscar Auf der Heide.  He later served as president of the Weehawken Board of Education.

Former Jersey City Mayor Mark Fagan.

* Mark Fagan was the Republican mayor of Jersey City from 1902 to 1906 and from 1913 to 1917.  He was replaced by Frank Hague.

Two former Senate Presidents: Frank Farley (R-Atlantic City), left, and Wayne Dumont (R-Phillipsburg). Ace Alagna collection courtesy of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University Libraries, South Orange.

* Frank “Hap” Farley was the state senator from Atlantic County from 1941 to 1972 and the Senate President in 1945 and 1962.  He was the longtime Atlantic County GOP boss.

* Bill Flanagan served as Hudson County sheriff before spending three decades as the executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Rep. Cornelius Gallagher (D-Bayonne) in the Oval Office with President John F. Kennedy.

* Cornelius “Neil” Gallagher represented Hudson County in Congress from 1959 to 1973.  He served as a Hudson County freeholder and was mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate on a ticket with Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

* John Gibbons was a federal judge and founder of the Gibbons law firm.  President Richard Nixon nominated him to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1969.  He served as chief judge from 1987 until his retirement in 1990.

* John Giblin was a labor leader, Essex County freeholder, and from 1966 to 19678, a member of the New Jersey State Senate.  His son, Thomas Giblin, serves in the New Jersey State Assembly.

* Charles Gillen was the mayor of Newark from 1917 to 1921, the first mayor under a new city commission form of government.  He was born in County Roscommon, Ireland.

* Frank Graves was the mayor of Paterson and a state senator before he died in office in 1990.

Hoboken Mayor John Grogan, left. Photo courtesy of the Hoboken Historical Society.

* John Grogan was the mayor of Hoboken.  He ran for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in 1958 but lost the primary to former Rep. Harrison Williams.

Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague

* Frank Hague was one of the most legendary figures in New Jersey political history.  He served as mayor of Jersey City from 1917 to 1947 and was the undisputed political boss of Hudson County with a reach that often extended to the Statehouse and the White House.

Rep. James Hamill

* James Hamill represented Hudson County in Congress from 1907 until 1913.  He was an assemblyman from 1902 to 1905 and served as Assembly Minority Leader.

Gov. Richard Hughes, left, with Joseph M. Keegan, a Democratic State Senator from Passaic County. Ace Alagna collection courtesy of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University Libraries, South Orange.

* Richard Hughes served as governor of New Jersey from 1962 to 1970, and as Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1973 to 1979.

* William Hughes, born in Ireland, was New Jersey’s United States Senator from 1913 – the first directly elected by the people – until 1918.  He had previously served as a congressman from Passaic County.

William J. Hughes served as a congressman from New Jersey from 1975 to 1995.

* William J. Hughes represented New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1995.  He served as U.S. Ambassador to Panama under President Bill Clinton, and as a first assistant Cape May County Prosecutor.

* William Hyland served as attorney general of New Jersey under Gov. Brendan Byrne. He was a Camden County assemblyman from 1954 to 1961, the Assembly Speaker in 1958, and the president of the Public Utilities Commission.

* William Kelly represented Hudson County in the New Jersey State Senate from 1958 to 1974 and was a candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1969.

Former Jersey City Mayor John V. Kenny, second from left, with John F. Kennedy and former State Sen. William Kelly, second from right. Photo courtesy of the Hoboken Historical Museum.

* John V. Kenny was the mayor of Jersey City from 1949 to 1954 and the Democratic boss of Hudson County into the 1970s.  He broke the Hague political machine, only to see his own machine ousted by Paul Jordan in 1971.

State Sen. John Lynch (D-New Brunswick), right, with Gov. RIchard Hughes. Ace Alagna collection courtesy of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University Libraries, South Orange.

* John Lynch represented Middlesex County in the New Jersey State Senate from 1956 to 1978,  He served as Senate President in 1966 and as mayor of New Brunswick.

Former New Jersey Senate President Frank X. McDermott, right, with Rep. Matthew J. Rinaldo.

* Frank McDermott represented Union County in the New Jersey State Senate from 1968 to 1974, in between tenures in the State Assembly.  He was Senate President in 1969 and sough the Republican nomination for governor that year.

* Joseph McGahn was the Democrat who topped Hap Farley in 1971 and served in the Senate until his own party took him out six years later.   His nephew, Donald McGahn, served as White House Counsel under President Donald Trump.  His brother, Paddy McGahn, was a powerful Atlantic City insider.

Rep. Cornelius McGlennon (D-East Newark)

* Cornelius McGlennon was the mayor of East Newark from 1907 to 1919, a state senator from Essex County in 1917 and 1918, the Senate Minority Leader in 1918, and a congressman from 1919 to 1921.

Rep. Frank McNulty.

* Frank McNulty, born in Ireland, was the president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers from 1903 to 1918 and a Democratic congressman from Essex County from 1923 to 1925.

Rep. Daniel Minahan (D-Orange).

* Daniel Minahan as the mayor of Orange form 1914 to 1919 and a congressman from 1923 to 1925.

A. Harry Moore served three terms as Governor of New Jersey and as a United States Senator.

* A. Harry Moore served as Governor of New Jersey three times, from 1926 to 1929, from 1932 to 1935, and from 1938 to 1941.  He also served in the U.S. Senate from 1935 to 1938.  Moore was a close ally of Mayor Frank Hague and served as a Jersey City commissioner from 1913 to 1925.

New Jersey Gov. Franklin Murphy.

* Franklin Murphy was the governor of New Jersey from 1902 to 1905.  A Union Army officer during the Civil War, he had served as Newark council president and in the State Assembly.

New Jersey AFL-CIO President Vincent J. Murphy, center, with former New Jersey CIO President Paul Krebs, left, and U.S. Senator Harrison Williams. Ace Alagna Photograph Collection, The Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University Libraries, South Orange.

* Vincent Murphy was the mayor of Newark from 1941 to 1949 and the Democratic gubernatorial candidate against Walter Edge in 1943.  He was the head of the New Jersey AFL-CIO.

Rep. Mary T. Norton (D-Jersey City), right, with Thelma Parkinson Sharp.

* Mary Taylor Norton became the first woman to represent New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives when she was elected in 1924.  She had served as a Hudson County freeholder and as Democratic State chair.

* Charles O’Brien was Mayor Frank Hague’s public safety director and served as a congressman in between James Hamill and Mary T. Norton.

* Charles O’Neill was the mayor of Jersey City from 1868 to 1869, and again from 1870 to 1874.

Former Jersey City Mayor Thomas F. X. Smith

* Thomas F.X. Smith was a colorful former Jersey City Clerk who was mayor from 1977 to 1981.  He ran in the 1981 Democratic gubernatorial primary and played for the New York Knicks in 1951.

* Joseph F. Sullivan was the New Jersey bureau chief for the New York Times for decades.

* T. James Tumulty was a secretary to Mayor Frank Hague before serving as Assembly Minority Leader and as a congressman from Hudson County.

* Joseph Patrick Tumulty was elected to the State Assembly in 1906 at age 27 as a Democrat from Jersey City.  He became secretary to Gov. Woodrow Wilson in 1910 and was Wilson’s private secretary in the White House from 1913 to 1921.

Former U.S. Senator Arthur Walsh

* Arthur Walsh was appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate in 1943 after the death of Sen. Warren Barbour and served thirteen months.

 

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