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James J. Kennedy (born February 9, 1953) is a Democratic Party politician who is serving as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 22nd Legislative District since January 2016. He previously served as Mayor of Rahway, New Jersey from 1991 through 2010, when he declined to seek a sixth term.

James J. Kennedy
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 22nd District
Assumed office
January 12, 2016
Serving with Linda Carter
Preceded byLinda Stender
Mayor of Rahway, New Jersey
In office
January 1, 1991 – December 31, 2010
Preceded byDaniel Martin
Succeeded byRichard B. Proctor
Personal details
Born (1953-02-09) February 9, 1953 (age 66)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lori Kennedy
ResidenceRahway, New Jersey
WebsiteLegislative Website


Early LifeEdit

Kennedy won his first nomination in the 1990 Democratic primary election, when he contested the re-election for Daniel Martin, who at the time had been mayor for 20 years. Kennedy owns a local store, Kennedy Jewelers, that was adversely affected by the decline of the city's downtown area during the 1970s and 1980s, and he was president of the Rahway Chamber of Commerce during the later 80s. While serving on the board of trustees for the Rahway YMCA, Kennedy befriended Jim McGreevey, a lawyer then residing in neighboring Woodbridge who would ultimately become New Jersey's governor. After McGreevey became governor, Kennedy joined a State Street Partners, a Trenton lobbying firm founded by Rocco F. Iossa, a former aide to Republican Congressman Dennis Gallo and counselor to GOP Governor Christine Todd Whitman. After McGreevey resigned Kennedy started a business, Skye Consulting L.L.C., which has assisted local governments, redevelopment contractors and a foreign-owned water treatment and waste management utility company. Skye Consulting has been hired by local government officials in Burlington, Bound Brook, Mount Laurel, and other New Jersey communities. Kennedy has advocated privatization of municipal assets at the World Water Forum in Mexico City, Istanbul, and Marseille. Kennedy and his wife, Lori, a kindergarten teacher who retired in June 2011, have one son, Sean, who operates the jewelry store on a day-to-day basis. The couple previously had another child, who died when he was two years old. [1] Kennedy is an atheist, who has said, "I don't believe in magic, superstition or any of that mumbo jumbo." [1]

New Jersey AssemblyEdit

Following the retirement of incumbent Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender in 2015, Kennedy was chosen by the local Democratic County Committees over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr to succeed Stender.[2] He won the general election alongside incumbent Jerry Green that November.[3]


  • Science, Innovation and Technology
  • Commerce and Economic Development
  • Transportation and Independent Authorities

District 22Edit

Each of the 40 districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 15th District for the 2018–2019 Legislative Session are:[4][5]

Electoral HistoryEdit

New Jersey AssemblyEdit

New Jersey general election, 2017[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic James J. Kennedy (Incumbent) 27,763 32.6   2.1
Democratic Jerry Green (Incumbent) 27,284 32.1   2.4
Republican Richard S. Fortunato 14,631 17.2   3.2
Republican John Quattrocchi 13,682 16.1   3.3
Total votes 85,120 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2015[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic James J. Kennedy (Incumbent) 12,087 30.5   2.2
Democratic Jerry Green (Incumbent) 11,769 29.7   1.5
Republican William “Bo” Vastine 8,076 20.4   2.5
Republican William H. Michelson 7,666 19.4   1.2
Total votes 39,598 100.0


  1. ^ a b "Rahway's "Watt Watchers"". Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Haydon, Tom (March 5, 2015). "Former Rahway mayor picked to run for Assemblywoman Stender's seat". NJ Advance Media for Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Johnson, Brent (November 3, 2015). "Elections 2015: Democrats keep hold of Assembly's 22nd District". NJ Advance Media for Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Legislative Roster 2018-2019 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 17, 2018.
  5. ^ District 22 Legislators, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "2017-official-general-election-results-general-assembly.pdf" (PDF). New Jersey Secretary of State. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  7. ^ "2015-official-ge-results-nj-general-assembly.pdf" (PDF). New Jersey Secretary of State. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Linda Stender
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 22nd District
January 12, 2016 – Present
With: Jerry Green, Linda Carter
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel Martin
Mayor of Rahway, New Jersey
January 1, 1991 – December 31, 2010
Succeeded by
Richard B. Proctor