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Jury selection starts in Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial • New Jersey Monitor

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Jury selection starts in Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial • New Jersey Monitor


Eight months after federal authorities indicted Sen. Bob Menendez in a wide-ranging corruption scheme, his trial got off to a slow start in Manhattan Monday, with the federal judge excusing almost a third of the 150 potential jurors called.

U.S. Judge Sidney Stein warned them the trial could last into the first week of July and briefly summarized the accusations in prosecutors’ 18-count indictment against New Jersey’s senior senator. Prosecutors say the senator accepted gold bars, cash, a luxury car, and more as bribes from three businessmen to disrupt several criminal probes and prosecutions, steer military arms and aid to Egypt, help one land a lucrative deal with a Qatari investor, help another gain a monopoly on meat imports to Egypt, and conspired to cover it all up as investigators closed in.

When the judge subsequently asked which potential jurors had substantial reasons they could not serve, dozens of hands shot up, and they were called one by one into a separate room for questioning by Stein and two members each of the prosecution and defense teams.

Some of those who sought an out cited scheduling conflicts, travel plans, and work or family obligations, while others told Stein they could not be fair. Some had very specific excuses. One juror told Stein he has an extreme fear of heights (Stein’s courtroom is on the 23rd floor, with windows overlooking the city).

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Another said she has a trip scheduled to Europe later this month and plans to see Bruce Springsteen in Spain.

Stein noted that Springsteen recently announced new tour dates.

“You could catch him, probably in Giants Stadium,” he said.

Another potential juror told Stein she’s a housing attorney who gets “worked up” when she hears about public corruption and called the case “triggering.”

Another said she recently became a children’s librarian in Greenwich, Connecticut, and fretted about a lengthy trial’s impact on her job, as she hasn’t passed her probationary period there. That prompted Stein to rhapsodize about being a children’s librarian in another life.

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“I’m telling you, that’s what I would do, children’s librarian,” he said.

Back in the courtroom, Menendez sat alone at a defense table and stared forward silently, his fingers steepled in front of him in the hushed courtroom. His co-defendants, businessman Wael Hana and real estate developer Fred Daibes, sat beside their attorneys at a separate table.

By mid-afternoon, Stein had excused 38 jurors from an initial pool of 100 and called another 50 people in for questioning. About a dozen are expected to be excused from that last batch when the initial round of questioning wraps up Tuesday.

It was an anticlimactic start for a trial that promises plenty of drama, given the more salacious parts of prosecutors’ indictment and the details that have emerged since — that the bribes typically went to and through the senator’s wife, Nadine; that he probably will blame her; that he used his powerful position as head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to act as a foreign agent; and that he may explain his hoarded riches as a trauma response to his father’s suicide and his family’s refugee experience.

The senator, his attorneys at his side, breezed past a mob of photographers and television journalists Monday morning on his way into the Daniel Patrick Moynihan federal courthouse, just two blocks from where former President Trump’s trial is unfolding.

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He wore a navy suit with his Senate pin on the lapel and went through security like everyone else, doffing his belt before walking through the metal detector. In the courtroom, he smiled and chatted with his attorneys as they waited for proceedings to start.

Before calling in prospective jurors, Stein scolded attorneys who filed a flurry of briefs and motions over the weekend.

“There’s been too much gamesmanship here, and I want it to end now,” he barked. “Everybody has to operate in good faith here. I’m not sure I’ve seen it.”

The trial resumes Tuesday morning, with attorneys expected to pick a jury from the remaining 100 or so potential jurors by interrogating them further on everything from their understanding of halal food to their thoughts on keeping cash at home instead of in a bank account to their perceptions of New Jersey residents, politicians, wealthy people, immigrants, Coptic Christians, Egypt, and more.

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New Jersey

What Jersey Shore Beaches Are Guarded For Memorial Day Weekend?

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What Jersey Shore Beaches Are Guarded For Memorial Day Weekend?


JERSEY SHORE — Who’s headed down the shore this weekend? The unofficial kickoff to summer is nearly upon us and thousands will be headed to the beach to celebrate.

From Long Branch to Cape May, certain beaches will be staffed with lifeguards starting Memorial Day Weekend. Officials frequently urge beachgoers to only swim at protected beaches for safety purposes.

Here’s your guide for where to find guarded beaches at the Jersey Shore.

Find out what’s happening in Berkeleywith free, real-time updates from Patch.

2024 Jersey Shore Beach Guide: Beach Badges, Town Curfews

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GATEWAY RECREATION AREA SANDY HOOK

Find out what’s happening in Berkeleywith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Lifeguards are on duty at Sandy Hook from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day. Sandy Hook’s Lifeguards are on duty at beaches C, D, and G. There are no lifeguards at North Beach or Beach E.

SEA BRIGHT

The Sea Bright Municipal Beach and Anchorage Beach are guarded.

There are seven free public beach access ways on Ocean Avenue identified by signs that provide access to the public-use area in front of the private beach clubs and are considered unsupervised municipal beaches. No lifeguards are present on those beaches and they are governed by the rules in Chapter 66 of the Code of Sea Bright.

MONMOUTH BEACH

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Monmouth Beach Bathing Pavilion opens May 25 through 27 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with lifeguards on duty.

LONG BRANCH

Municipal beaches are guarded (there are 17 lifeguard stands) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting this weekend.

SEVEN PRESIDENTS OCEANFRONT PARK

The beach opens Memorial Day weekend and lifeguards return then as well.

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ALLENHURST

Allenhurst Beach Club will post daily staffing levels on their website.

ASBURY PARK

The beaches open Memorial Day Weekend from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lifeguards are on duty during these hours.

OCEAN GROVE

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The beach opens Memorial Day Weekend, with lifeguards on duty from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

DEAL

Deal Casino Beach Club has a waiting list for memberships and does not offer single-day beach access for swimming. For those with access, lifeguards are on duty this weekend from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

LOCH ARBOUR

Beaches are staffed with lifeguards starting this weekend, but operating hours were not available online.

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AVON-BY-THE-SEA

Lifeguards are on site this weekend from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The designated beaches are updated here.

BRADLEY BEACH

Beaches are open and will be guarded this weekend 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SPRING LAKE

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Main beaches are open starting this weekend 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

BELMAR

Lifeguards go on duty this weekend 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SEA GIRT

Lifeguards are on duty this weekend 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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MANASQUAN

Lifeguards are on duty at all 17 beaches from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

POINT PLEASANT BEACH

Jenkinson’s beaches are guarded 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Maryland Avenue Beach Club and Bradshaw’s Beach Club are also guarded 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

BAY HEAD

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The beaches are operated by the Bay Head Improvement Association and do not open for the season until June 15.

MANTOLOKING

Lifeguards don’t go on duty until June 15.

BRICK TOWNSHIP

Brick Beach 1, 2, and 3 on the ocean, and Windward Beach Park open beginning Memorial Day Weekend. The ocean beaches are guarded 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. Swimming is not allowed at Windward Beach.

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TOMS RIVER/ORTLEY BEACH

Beaches open starting Memorial Day Weekend 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be guarded.

LAVALLETTE

Beaches officially open June 15.

SEASIDE HEIGHTS

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Lifeguard stands are located on the ocean beach at most streets except Sherman Avenue, Grant Avenue, and Porter Avenue. The bay beach lifeguard stand is located bayside approximately 100′ south of the Stewart’s Root Beer concession.

SEASIDE PARK

Details on guarded beaches were not available.

ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK

Lifeguards are on duty 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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BARNEGAT LIGHT

Lifeguards are off duty until mid-June.

LOVELADIES (See Long Beach Township below)

HARVEY CEDARS

80th Street & Middlesex beaches will be guarded this weekend.

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SURF CITY

Beaches are not guarded until June 15.

SHIP BOTTOM

Lifeguards are on duty patrolling the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the lifeguard truck or All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP

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Lifeguards will be on 68th St beach only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting May 25.

BEACH HAVEN

A skeleton crew will be guarding the beaches this weekend. Specific streets were unavailable.

BRIGANTINE

Guarded beaches begin on the Memorial Day Weekend. These beaches are 15th Street South, 26th Street South and 39th Street South (weekends only).

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ATLANTIC CITY

Find details on guarded beaches on the Atlantic City website.

VENTNOR CITY

Lifeguards are on beaches 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting this weekend. The beaches that lifeguards are on duty vary during the beginning and end of the summer. Call the Beach Headquarters at (609) 823-7948 for details.

MARGATE

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Some beaches are protected starting this weekend 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 2024 beaches were unavailable but in 2023 these beaches were

  • Clermont Ave
  • Huntington Ave
  • Thurlow Ave
  • Washington Ave

LONGPORT

Beaches at 16th, 26th, 30th and 33rd avenues will be opened and guarded from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this weekend.

OCEAN CITY

These beaches are guarded 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • St. Charles Place
  • Brighton Place
  • 8th Street
  • 9th Street
  • 10th Street
  • 11th Street
  • 12th Street
  • 26th Street
  • 34th Street
  • 58th Street

STRATHMERE

Strathmere, part of Upper Township, will be guarded starting in June.

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SEA ISLE CITY

These beaches are guarded this weekend (view the full season here).

  • 40th Street
  • 51st Street
  • 59th Street
  • 64.5th Street
  • 75th Street
  • 86.5th Street

AVALON

Beaches are guarded 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 9,12,15,18,21,24,26,28, 30 (surfing only at 30th Street),32,35,38,40,43,50,57,61,65,69,73,76,79.

STONE HARBOR

Lifeguards are on duty 10 a.m. to 5 p .m. this weekend and protected beaches are: 81st, 83rd, 86th, 87th, 90th, 93rd, 94th, 95th, 96th, 100th, 102nd, 103rd, 105th, 108th, 110th, 112th, 113th, 116th, 117th, 120th & 122nd.

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NORTH WILDWOOD, WILDWOOD, WILDWOOD CREST

The beaches are free and guarded daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. starting this weekend.

CAPE MAY

Lifeguards go on duty July 1.


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Severe Weather Headed To NJ: See Timeline

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Severe Weather Headed To NJ: See Timeline


NEW JERSEY — Multiple rounds of severe storms are set to slam New Jersey Thursday, complete with damaging winds, heavy rain and hail, forecasters said.

The first round will be an “organized cluster” impacting regions along and northwest of I-95 through about noon as daytime high temperatures reach near 80 degrees, the National Weather Service said. The second round (composed of scattered storms) will hit the state this afternoon and evening, this time impacting areas mostly along and southeast of I-95.

Gusty winds up to 65 mph and hail will be possible during severe storms, the weather service said. The entire state is under a “marginal” risk for severe storms, according to graphics provided by the weather service.

Find out what’s happening in Across New Jerseywith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Isolated tornadoes and flooding aren’t off the table for the hardest-hit regions, AccuWeather added, noting evening commuters should prepare for delays and disruptions.

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As of 9:15 a.m., 11 New Jersey counties are under a severe thunderstorm warning through 9:45 a.m.

Find out what’s happening in Across New Jerseywith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The effected counties are:

  • Hunterdon
  • Morris
  • Sussex
  • Warren
  • Somerset
  • Middlesex
  • Passaic
  • Union
  • Bergen
  • Essex
  • Hudson

“60 mph wind gusts and penny size hail,” the National Weather Service said of the warning. “Damage to roofs, siding, trees, and power lines is possible.”

Additional showers and perhaps thunder will be possible — especially in South Jersey — late Friday into Saturday, the National Weather Service added.

Here’s the latest forecast, according to the National Weather Service:

North Jersey

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Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 11 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 78. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Thursday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 p.m., then a slight chance of showers after 5 a.m. Partly cloudy, with a low around 60. West wind around 5 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 80. West wind around 5 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 56. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Saturday: A slight chance of showers between 2 and 5 p.m., then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 5pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

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Saturday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 p.m., then a chance of showers between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. Patchy fog after 5 a.m. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 59. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Central Jersey

Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 2 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 84. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 8 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. Southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Friday: A slight chance of showers before 11 a.m. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 84. North wind around 5 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

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Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 60. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Saturday: A slight chance of showers after 2 p.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. Light and variable wind becoming southeast 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Saturday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 p.m., then a chance of showers between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 a.m. Patchy fog after 4 a.m. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 61. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

South Jersey

Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

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Thursday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Friday: A chance of showers, mainly before 11 a.m. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 83. Northwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Friday Night: Patchy fog after 2 a.m. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 59. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Saturday: A chance of showers, mainly after 5 p.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 79. Light east wind becoming southeast 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New
precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Saturday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 p.m., then a slight chance of showers between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. Patchy fog after 2 a.m. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 60. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

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Thomas Long, former assemblyman, freeholder, dies at 94 – New Jersey Globe

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Thomas Long, former assemblyman, freeholder, dies at 94 – New Jersey Globe


Thomas W. Long, an affable and respected former assemblyman, five-term Union County freeholder, and Linden superintendent of schools who never lost an election, died on May 20.  He was 94.

He was the father of state Community Affairs Deputy Commissioner Robert Long, a fixture in New Jersey politics who served under three Democratic governors.

As an assemblyman, Long sponsored a law that extended a tax credit to renters who faced increases after the landlords who passed on price increases for utilities to their tenants, and pushed to change the name of the Rahway State Prison, saying it stigmatized the town.  After opting not to seek re-election, he advocated for a constitutional amendment to increase the terms of State Assembly members to four years.

Long spent 41 years as an educator in Linden.

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Senate President Nicholas Scutari said he learned Long’s name while growing up in Linden.

“As a kid, you saw his name on everything and you knew he was important,” Scutari said.

Long was a junior high school principal in 1970 when he launched his electoral career as the Democratic candidate for Union County freeholder.  At the time, Republicans had a 9-0 majority.

Four seats were up that year: Long, Plainfield Councilman Everett Lattimore, and Harold Seymour, Jr., the Cranford tax collector, ran for three-year terms, and Elizabeth Tax Assessor John Mottley was seeking a two-year unexpired term.  They faced three Republican incumbents: Jerome Epstein, Arthur Manner, and Charles Tracey – and appointed Freeholder Henery Daaleman.

Buoyed by the coattails of Harrison Williams, Jr., a Westfield Democrat who carried Union County by more than 30,000 votes and nearly seventeen percentage points to win a third term in the U.S. Senate, Democrats swept all four freeholder seats.   Long won by about 14,000 votes after scoring a huge win in Linden; Lattimore became Union County’s first Black freeholder.

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As a first-term freeholder, Long helped win approval of bonds to repair and expand county roads, an expansion of the Union County Technical Institute. And the construction of a minimum-security county jail.

Long and his running mates coasted to re-election in 1973 after the Watergate scandal led to a Democratic wave across New Jersey that year.  Long, Lattimore, and Seymour beat Republicans Raymond Bonnell, Robert W. Lee, and Jack McVey, the mayor of Cranford, by over 25,000 votes.

After Democrats took control of the Board of Freeholders in 1974 with a 6-3 majority – the second Watergate-fueled Democratic wave – Long became the freeholder chairman.

On Long’s watch, Union County voters adopted a county manager form of government in 1974; as freeholder director, Long shepherded the selection process that resulted in the appointment of George Albanese.  He also saw Union County earn a AAA bond rating.

In 1976, Union County Democrats backed Long and Seymour for re-election, but initially denied party support to Lattimore – a move they later overturned.  They also backed Joseph Garrrubo, a former assemblyman who had been appointed to fill a vacancy and was seeking an unexpired term.   They faced Chuck Hardwick, who would later become Assembly Speaker, Springfield Township Committeeman Bill Ruocco, and Roselle Park Councilman Robert Morgan; against Garrbubo, the GOP ran Ed Weber, a business representative for Operating Engineers Local 825.

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Union County was in ticket-splitting mode in those days, giving Gerald Ford a 12,000-vote plurality, but also giving Wiliams a 53,000-vote win the Senate race; Republican Rep. Matthew Rinaldo (R-Union) represented most of Union County and carried it by nearly 88,000 votes.
In the freeholder race, Long was the top vote-getter, outpolling Hardwick by roughly 8,000 votes; Seymour beat Hardwick by around 5,000.  Weber defeated Garrbubo by roughly 500 votes after hammering him over his vote in favor of establishing a state income tax.

Long and his running mates all sought a fourth term in 1979; Republicans picked Elizabeth GOP Municipal Chair Blanche Banasiak, Summit Mayor Frank Lehr, and former Westfield Councilman Jack Meeker to run against them.  Republicans complained that spending by the Democratic majority had become too high.

That year, Democrats battled fatigue over President Jimmy Carter and Gov. Brendan Byrne, who was facing his second mid-term elections.  The turnout in the off-off-year election in Union County was about 50%.

Banasiak and Meeker ousted Lattimore and Seymour, but Long held on to defeat Lehr by a narrow 900-vote margin.  Just 3,000 votes separated Banasiak and Seymour, who finished sixth.

Long returned to his fourth term with Democrats sitting on a narrower 5-4 majority.

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In 1982, Long sought a fifth term as a freeholder; after Republican Rose Marie Sinnott resigned to become Union County Surrogate, four seats – three Republicans and Long – were up.

Long teamed up with Walter Boright, a former freeholder and Scotch Plains mayor, and two Democrats who would become legendary political figures in Union County: Hillside Township Clerk Charlotte DeFilippo and Plainfield’s Gerald Green.

Long was again the top vote-getter in a strong Democratic year that saw the freeholder board shift from a 5-4 Republican majority to Democrats holding eight seats; Long won by about 14,000 votes.

DeFilippo and Boright defeated Banasiak and two Republicans who had been appointed to the board: Clark Mayor Bernard Yarusavage and former Berkeley Heights Mayor Bob Miller.   Green beat Hillside Township Committeeman John Kulish.   The Democratic margins were so strong that Ann Conti ousted Sinnott in the surrogate race.

In 1983, John Gregorio was convicted of tax evasion after concealing his interest in two go-go bars; which forced him to forfeit his posts as a state senator and mayor of Linden.  Assemblyman Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) won a June 1983 special election to take Gregorio’s Senate seat.

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Long easily won Democratic organization support to run for Lesniak’s Assembly seat.  He narrowly outpolled seven-term Assemblyman Thomas Deverin (D-Carteret) in the Democratic primary; the two defeated three other Democrats by about 9,000 votes.

In a special election that August, Long defeated independent Henry Kielbasa, a perennial candidate who had lost the Democratic primary, with 82% of the vote.

Long won a full two-year term in November by over 13,000 votes against Republicans Andrew Fydryszewski and Mark Pena.  He ran just 57 votes behind Deverin.  He was sworn in on September 15.

Long spent 3 ½ months as a dual officeholder, but resigned from the freeholder board in January 1984.

He served on the Assembly Municipal Government Committee and the State Government Committee.

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In early 1985, Long announced that he would not seek re-election to a second term in the Assembly and instead would become Linden’s Superintendent of Schools.  His full-time focus on the education post was a condition of his job offer by the Linden school board.

He retired in 1992 after more than four decades as a teacher and school administrator.

In addition to his son, Long is survived by his wife of 69 years, Caroline, his grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.



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