Nicholas Sacco

Nicholas J. Sacco (born November 17, 1946) is an American Democratic Party politician, who has been serving in the New Jersey State Senate since 1994, where he represents the 32nd Legislative District. Sacco serves in the Senate as the chairman of the Transportation Committee, and is also a member of the Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.[1] He concurrently serves as mayor of North Bergen as he is allowed to hold two offices under a grandfather clause in a bill that prohibited dual office holding.

Nicholas J. Sacco
Sacco at a February 2015 job fair at
North Bergen Public Library
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 32nd district
Assumed office
January 11, 1994
Preceded byThomas F. Cowan
Mayor of North Bergen
Assumed office
January 1, 1991
Preceded byLeo Gattoni
Personal details
Born (1946-11-17) November 17, 1946 (age 74)
Jersey City, New Jersey
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceNorth Bergen
Alma materRutgers University (BA)
Seton Hall University (MA)
OccupationAssistant Superintendent of Schools; mayor, North Bergen, New Jersey; State Senator
WebsiteLegislative web page

Personal lifeEdit

Sacco was born in Jersey City on November 17, 1946. He grew up in West New York graduating from Memorial High School.[2] Sacco received a B.A. in 1968 in History from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Administration and Supervision from Seton Hall University in 1973.[1][3] He is married to but does not reside with, the former Kathleen Ambrose since 1972 and together have one son, Nicholas J. Sacco, Jr., a vice-principal at North Bergen High School.[4]

Political careerEdit

Sacco was first elected to the North Bergen Board of Commissioners in 1985 as a part of recall elections headed up by Leo Gattoni to clean out corrupt officials in the Township. In 1991, Gattoni retired from the Mayor's office and decided to endorse Sacco as mayor (in North Bergen, the mayor is chosen among members of the Board of Commissioners).[5] Sacco has been reelected every four years, most recently in May 2015.[6] Two years after becoming mayor, Sacco defeated incumbent State Senator Thomas F. Cowan in the Democratic primary election for the 32nd district.[7] He has also been overwhelmingly re-elected to this office since his first election as well.

In addition to serving as a State Senator and as mayor of North Bergen, Sacco previously served as the Director of Primary Education for the North Bergen School District, until his retirement from the position in 2017.[1][8] Sacco has been Principal of Horace Mann and Lincoln School in North Bergen, and former president and vice president of the North Bergen Council of Administrators and Supervisors which is affiliated with the New Jersey Education Association. He simultaneously holds a seat in the New Jersey Senate and as Mayor. This dual position, often called double dipping, is allowed under a grandfather clause in the state law enacted by the New Jersey Legislature and signed into law by Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine in September 2007 that prevents dual-office-holding but allows those who had held both positions as of February 1, 2008, to retain both posts.[9]

Sacco is a sponsor of the state's Urban Enterprise Zone legislation, which has helped foster private business investment in urban centers and generates millions of dollars in revenue for North Bergen and other cities.[10] Sacco has also sponsored legislation expanding the use of DNA testing in criminal cases, by having DNA collected from individuals convicted of disorderly conduct offenses that could be compared against databases to help close unsolved crime cases.[11] Sacco has an anti-abortion voting record in the Senate as reported by the Democrats for Life of America.[12]

In 2012 the Hudson Reporter named him #1 in its list of Hudson County's 50 most influential people.[13] In 2013 and 2014, he was ranked #3 (the first of which tied him with Senate colleague and Union City mayor Brian P. Stack),[14][15] and #4 in 2015.[16]

District 32Edit

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 32nd district for the 2014–2015 Legislative Session are:[17]

Election historyEdit

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nicholas J. Sacco (incumbent) 20,098 70.2
Republican Paul Castelli 8,542 29.8
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nicholas J. Sacco (incumbent) 16,413 83.2
Republican Edward T. O’Neill 3,312 16.8
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2007[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nicholas Sacco 16,780 82.8
Republican John Pluchino 3,474 17.2
Democratic hold


  1. ^ a b c Senator Sacco's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed April 11, 2008.
  2. ^ Senator Nicholas J. Sacco, New Jersey Senate Democrats. Accessed August 29, 2019. "The senator was born in Jersey City Nov. 17, 1946. He attended public schools in Hudson County and graduated from Memorial High School in West New York."
  3. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey – Two Hundred and Eleventh Legislature (First Session) (PDF). Skinder-Strauss Associates. 2004. p. 239. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  4. ^ North Bergen High School 2013–2014 Student Handbook (PDF). p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Hague, Jim (November 16, 2001). "Former Mayor Gattoni dies Long-time politician, 87, served township for 50 years". Hudson Reporter. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  6. ^ Herzog, Laura. (May 12, 2015). "After 24 years in office, North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco is victorious again". NJ Advance Media for Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "Official List Primary Election Returns for the Office of Senate and Assembly" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. August 3, 1993. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Sacco to retire from school job, will remain mayor and state senator". January 5, 2017.
  9. ^ via Associated Press. "N.J. Lawmakers keep double dipping" Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine. WPVI-TV, March 4, 2008. Accessed June 4, 2009.
  10. ^ Hague, Jim (March 22, 2005). "North Bergen's UEZ has a new home Office set up on Broadway, in heart of zone". Hudson Reporter. Accessed June 25, 2012. "Ever since North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco first introduced legislation 10 years ago, in his role as a state senator, that began the process to have Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZ) in many of the state's major cities and towns as a way to increase business sales while helping to beautify the community, the North Bergen UEZ has been operating out of Town Hall, but was really without an identity."
  11. ^ Hack, Charles. "State Sen. Nicholas Sacco introduces bill to collect DNA samples from all convicted of disorderly persons offenses", The Jersey Journal, March 21, 2012. Accessed June 25, 2012. "Convicted shoplifters and others guilty of disorderly persons offenses would be forced to submit a DNA sample to authorities under new legislation proposed by Sen. Nicholas J. Sacco, D-North Bergen. The goal of the bill, which was introduced in Trenton yesterday, is to reduce the number of unsolved crimes, according to Sacco, who is also North Bergen’s mayor."
  12. ^ "PRO-LIFE DEMOCRAT OF THE WEEK" (Press release). Democrats for Life of America. 2012. Archived from the original on July 5, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  13. ^ Adriana Rambay Fernández, Stephen LaMarca, Gennarose Pope, Ray Smith, Al Sullivan and E. Assata Wright. "They've Got the Power". The Union City Reporter. January 8, 2012. Pages 1, 4-7 and 10-11.
  14. ^ Cruz, Vanessa; DeChiaro, Dean; Rambay Fernandez, Adriana; Palasciano, Amanda; Sullivan, Al; Wright, E. Assata (January 13, 2013). "Power Surge". The Union City Reporter. pp. 1, 5-7, 10.
  15. ^ DeChiaro, Dean; Sullivan, Al (February 2, 2014). "The 'Power List'". The Union City Reporter. p. 6.
  16. ^ Sullivan, Al; Davis, Carlo; Schwartz, Art; Passantino, Joseph (January 18, 2015). The Union City Reporter, pp 1, 5, 9, 12
  17. ^ "Legislative Roster 2014–2015 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2015 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  19. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed May 2, 2012.
  20. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2007 General Election Archived 2012-08-22 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Department of State, December 3, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2012.

External linksEdit

New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Thomas F. Cowan
Member of the New Jersey Senate for the 32nd District
January 11, 1994 – present
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Leo Gattoni
Mayor of North Bergen, New Jersey
January 1, 1991 – present
Succeeded by