Thursday, July 02, 2009

New Jersey: ELEC Picks ex-GOP Operative as Executive Director

By Wally Edge

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission has named Jeffrey Brindle, an ELEC staffer since 1985, as the new Executive Director. He will replace Frederick Herrmann, who is retiring after 25 years in office. He becomes the fifth ELEC Executive Director, following David Norcross, Lewis Thurston, Scott Weiner and Herrmann.

Brindle was active in Republican politics before taking a post at ELEC. He worked as a political consultant in the 1970's, served as New Brunswick GOP Municipal Chairman, worked on the legislative staffs of State Sen. John Ewing and Assemblymen Walter Kavanaugh and Elliot Smith, and as Deputy Somerset County Clerk. He was the Republican candidate for State Assembly in the 17th district in 1977, but lost the general election to Democrats David Schwartz and Joseph Patero. He joined state government after Thomas Kean's election as Governor and was the Communications Director at the Department of Community Affairs from 1982 to 1985.

Except for Herrmann, the other ELEC Executive Directors came from political backgrounds: Norcross was an aide to Gov. William Cahill and left ELEC to run for the U.S. Senate in 1976 (he later served as GOP State Chairman and has been the Republican National Committeeman from New Jersey since 1988); Thurston was the Senate Republican Executive Director and later Chief of Staff to Kean; and Weiner ran Democratic campaigns and later served as Commissioner of Environmental Protection.