Open main menu

Joseph Pennacchio

Joseph "Joe" Pennacchio (born May 27, 1955) is an American Republican Party politician, who has served in the New Jersey Senate since January 8, 2008, where he represents the 26th Legislative District. Pennacchio is currently serving as Minority Whip. He served in the General Assembly from 2001 to 2008.

Joseph Pennacchio
Member of the New Jersey Senate from the 26th District
Assumed office
January 8, 2008
Preceded byRobert J. Martin
Senate Minority Whip
Assumed office
August 21, 2017 [1]
LeaderThomas Kean Jr.
Preceded byKevin J. O'Toole
(2014) [2]
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 26th District
In office
February 25, 2001 – January 8, 2008
Preceded byCarol J. Murphy
Succeeded byJay Webber
Member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders
In office
January 1, 1999 – February 25, 2001
Personal details
Born (1955-05-27) May 27, 1955 (age 64)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Diane Pennacchio
ResidenceMontville, New Jersey
Alma materBrooklyn College (B.S.)
New York University College of Dentistry (D.D.S.)
WebsiteLegislative Website
Republican Senate Website

Early LifeEdit

Pennacchio received a B.S. in 1976 from Brooklyn College in Biology and received his D.D.S. degree in 1979 from the New York University College of Dentistry.[3] He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and currently resides in Montville with wife Diane.[4][5] Pennacchio served on the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1998 to 2001 and is a former member of Governor DiFrancesco's New Jersey Economic Development Authority.[3] He is the founder and a former member of the Montville Education Foundation, and a former member of the Montville Economic Development Council.

New Jersey AssemblyEdit

Pennacchio was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in February 2001 by a special convention of district Republicans to fill the seat vacated by Carol Murphy following her nomination by Acting Governor of New Jersey Donald DiFrancesco to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.[6]

New Jersey SenateEdit

Pennacchio ran for state Senate in 2007 upon the retirement of Robert J. Martin. He has since served as Assistant Minority Leader from 2014 to 2017 when he was chosen as Minority Whip. During the 2019 budget fight, democrats contradicted Governor Phil Murphy and passed a budget without the millionaires tax. Pennacchio, alongside six other Republicans, voted for the budget. [7]


  • Economic Growth
  • Military and Veterans Affairs
  • Legislative Services Commission

United States Senate CampaignEdit

On January 17, 2008, Pennacchio launched his campaign for the 2008 United States Senate race.[8] On June 3, 2008 he was defeated in the Republican primary by former Congressman Dick Zimmer.

District 26Edit

Each of the forty 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 26th district for the 218th New Jersey Legislature are:


In 1991, Pennacchio sent a 94-page white paper called the "Nationalist Agenda"[9] to then-New Jersey General Assembly minority leader Chuck Haytaian.[10] The manifesto, among other things, calls for a new "Nationalist Party," a Balanced Budget Amendment; Line-item veto Amendment; Term Length/Limit Amendment (Six-year terms for presidents, senators, and congressmen and twelve-year term limits for each office); Anti-Racism Amendment; Amend the 2nd Amendment to allow for regulation and banning of certain guns and ammunition; Death Penalty Amendment (make murder a federal crime and ensure that the death penalty is allowed); Equal Rights Amendment (albeit slightly amended); Flag-Burning Amendment; abolition of the Electoral College; establishment of regional presidential primaries; Establishment of a federal "Department of Science"; A national lottery (funded by voluntary $52-per-year contributions on tax returns. Only those participating would be eligible to win), school vouchers; reforms to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Welfare Reform; letting the homeless stay in military bases[11][12] and mandatory military service for non-violent criminals.[13] This has been referred to by his primary opponent as a "fascist manifesto" and Sabrin had called for him to drop out of the Senate race and resign from the State Senate.[14] Pennacchio refused to drop out and says that these are ideas he came up with before he ran for office and that he has "evolved" beyond many of them.[15] Pennacchio described these attacks as "anti-Italian". Despite these attacks Pennacchio bested Sabrin by a wide margin.

Electoral HistoryEdit

New Jersey SenateEdit

New Jersey general election, 2017[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Joe Pennacchio 32,269 56.5   8.5
Democratic Elliot Isibor 24,867 43.5   8.5
Total votes 57,136 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2013
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Joe Pennacchio 35,772 65.0   0.7
Democratic Avery Ann Hart 19,250 35.0   2.2
Total votes 55,022 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2011[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joe Pennacchio 20,230 64.3
Democratic Wasim Khan 10,317 32.8
Scafa For Senate Joseph Scafa 913 2.9
Total votes 31,460 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2007[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Joe Pennacchio 26,567 66.4   0.4
Democratic Wasim A. Khan 13,442 33.6   0.4
Total votes 40,009 100.0

New Jersey AssemblyEdit

New Jersey general election, 2005
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Alex DeCroce 35,646 30.2   2.5
Republican Joe Pennacchio 34,331 29.1   3.1
Democratic Kathleen Lynch-McCabe 23,795 20.1   2.2
Democratic Avery Hart 22,881 19.4   2.2
Libertarian Anthony Pio Costa 833 0.7 N/A
Libertarian Kenneth Kaplan 660 0.6 N/A
Total votes 118,146 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Alex DeCroce 20,882 32.7   1.5
Republican Joe Pennacchio 20,609 32.2   0.2
Democratic Laurie Fierro 11,467 17.9   1.0
Democratic Patrick J. Caserta 10,972 17.2   0.8
Total votes 63,930 100.0

New Jersey general election, 2001
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Alex DeCroce 39,381 34.2
Republican Joe Pennacchio 37,251 32.4
Democratic Joseph Raich 19,491 16.9
Democratic Sergio Bio 18,870 16.4
Total votes 114,993 100.0


  1. ^ "Pennacchio named Senate GOP whip". Daily Record. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Senate Republican Leadership". Way back Machine. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b Senator Pennacchio's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Assembly Member Joseph 'Joe' Pennacchio, Project Vote Smart. Accessed August 17, 2007.
  5. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey - Two Hundred and Eleventh Legislature (First Session) (PDF). Skinder-Strauss Associates. 2004. p. 279. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "Pennacchio joins Assembly", The Star-Ledger, March 9, 2001. Accessed August 17, 2007. "Pennacchio, who will resign his freeholder position next Thursday, replaces Republican Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, also of Montville, who recently was appointed to the state Board of Public Utilities."
  7. ^ "Senate passes budget 31-6". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  8. ^ Legislator enters U.S. Senate primary, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 18, 2008. Accessed January 18, 2008.
  9. ^ Pennacchio, Joseph (2008-03-17). "Nationalist Agenda, "A blue print for the 21st century"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  10. ^ Friedman, Matt (2008-03-17). "Jersey Joe's '91 "Nationalist Agenda"". PolitickerNJ. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  11. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (2008-03-19). "Morning Campaign Roundup". The Politico. CBS News. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
  12. ^ Friedman, Matt (2008-03-18). "GOP Senate Candidate Published "Nationalist Agenda," Wanted Homeless Put In Military Camps". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
  13. ^ Stile, Charles (2008-03-20). "Stile: Joe may be what Dems hope for". Archived from the original on September 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
  14. ^ Friedman, Matt (2008-03-17). "Sabrin calls for Pennacchio to drop out". PolitickerNJ. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  15. ^ Friedman, Matt (March 17, 2008). "Pennacchio: What of it?". PolitickerNJ. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  16. ^ "2017-official-general-election-results-state-senate.pdf" (PDF). New Jersey Secretary of State. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  17. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011, p. 15. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  18. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2007 General Election[permanent dead link], New Jersey Department of State, December 3, 2007, p. 15. Accessed May 8, 2019.

External linksEdit