Bill Baroni

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Bill Baroni
In office
March 2012 – December 12, 2013
Preceded by Susan Levin
Succeeded by Deb Gramiccioni
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 14th district
In office
January 8, 2008 – March 1, 2010
Preceded by Peter Inverso
Succeeded by Tom Goodwin
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 14th district
In office
January 13, 2004 – January 8, 2008
Preceded by Gary Guear
Succeeded by Wayne DeAngelo
Personal details
Born (1971-12-10) December 10, 1971 (age 43)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater George Washington University
University of Virginia
Website Government website

William E. "Bill" Baroni, Jr. (born December 10, 1971) is an American Republican Party politician and law professor. He was named by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in February 2010 to serve as the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[1] He resigned from his position at the Port Authority on December 12, 2013, during the inquiry into the Fort Lee lane closure controversy.[2] Before being appointed to the position, he represented the 14th legislative district in the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly.

Early life[edit]

Baroni was born in Jacksonville, Florida to an unwed Irish citizen who came to the United States to have her baby. Catholic Charities arranged for him to be adopted by William Sr. and Geraldine Baroni of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey a few days later. The circumstances of Baroni's birth became an issue in 2003, during his first campaign for the Legislature, when the incumbent, Gary Guear, charged that he had lied in his campaign biography by saying he was a lifelong resident of Hamilton Township. When Baroni responded that he had lived in Hamilton since he was a few days old and told the story of his adoption, Guear dropped the issue.[3]

He received a B.A. from George Washington University in history and was awarded a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.[4]

Political career[edit]

Baroni became interested in politics as a teenager, working on the campaign of his hometown congressman, Christopher H. Smith, who was seeking re-election to his fourth term. He was a driver for Assembly Speaker Chuck Haytaian in his campaign for U.S. Senator against Frank Lautenberg in 1994 and worked on the advance staff for the 1996 presidential campaign of Steve Forbes.

He served on the Mercer County Community College Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2003. He was a member of the Hamilton Township Planning Board from 1998 to 2000.

In 2003, Baroni mounted an aggressive campaign for General Assembly, knocking on over 10,000 doors to defeat the Democratic incumbent Gary Guear.[5] He was re-elected to the Assembly in 2005. In 2004 and 2005, he was the Assembly's Assistant Parliamentarian.[4]

On November 6, 2007, he won election to become State Senator of the 14th Legislative District. He captured 62.3% of the vote, defeating Democratic Party opponent Seema Singh.[6] Baroni filled the State Senate seat vacated by Republican Senator Peter Inverso.[7]

There had been speculation that Baroni would seek the Republican nomination for United States Senate in 2008 against Frank Lautenberg,[8] but his run for the New Jersey Senate effectively ended that speculation.[9] In 2008, Baroni served as State Chairman of John McCain's presidential campaign in New Jersey.[10]

Baroni served in the Senate on the Joint Committee on the Public Schools, the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, the Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee and the Judiciary Committee.[4]

Baroni was the only Republican state senator who voted for a 2010 measure to allow same-sex marriage in New Jersey.[11]

On February 19, 2010, Governor Chris Christie announced that he was appointing Baroni to the position of Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He resigned from his Senate seat to assume the new post on March 1, 2010.[12] At a special election convention on March 11, Hamilton Township Council President Tom Goodwin was selected to fill Baroni's vacant seat.[13]

On December 12, 2013, Christie announced that Baroni had resigned as Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This occurred after a scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, perhaps to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not supporting Christie.[14] Later email disclosures indicate that Baroni attempted to squelch press that the lane closures were improper and keep the public in the dark.[15]

On January 9, 2014, Baroni was named as a defendant in a federal class action lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey which cited a civil conspiracy and "willful, wanton, arbitrary, and egregious official misconduct".[16]

Legal career[edit]

Baroni was an associate at DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, and then at Blank Rome. He was of counsel at Fornaro Francioso, a Hamilton firm.[17] He served as chief counsel to Congressman Bob Franks in his 2000 U.S. Senate race. In 2002, when U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli withdrew his candidacy for re-election five weeks before Election Day after the Senate admonished him on ethics charges, Baroni argued for the Republicans in the New Jersey Supreme Court against a last-minute switch of candidates to Frank Lautenberg.[18]

Since 2002, Baroni has been an adjunct professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law, where he teaches classes on Professional Responsibility, voting rights, legislation, and campaign finance reform.[4] Baroni served on the Foundation Board of both The College of New Jersey and Mercer County Community College. Baroni is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Greater Trenton Symphony Orchestra and on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and on the board of trustees for Visitation Home, which builds homes for New Jersey residents with disabilities.[19] Baroni is also a special advisor to the New Jersey Boys' State Foundation, and is a former delegate at Jersey Boys' State.[20]

Fat Kid Got Fit[edit]

Along with a childhood friend, Baroni co-authored Fat Kid Got Fit, and So Can You, a 2012 book chronicling Baroni's early struggles with obesity and his successful efforts to overcome the problem.[21] Baroni wrote the book because he wants others to know that his successful weight loss came from “being healthy and working out” and that other people could share similar success.

Election history[edit]

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2007[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Baroni 33,207 62.3%
Democratic Seema Singh 20,081 37.7%
Republican hold
New Jersey General Assembly elections, 2005[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Baroni (incumbent) 37,241 27.7%
Democratic Linda Greenstein (incumbent) 35,816 26.7%
Democratic Daniel R. Benson 29,914 22.3%
Republican Michael D. Paquette 29,899 22.3%
Libertarian William Hunsicker 725 0.5%
Libertarian Jason M. Scheurer 714 0.5%
New Jersey General Assembly elections, 2003[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Baroni 27,181 27.9%
Democratic Linda Greenstein (incumbent) 24,752 25.5%
Republican Sidna B. Mitchell 23,872 24.5%
Democratic Gary Guear (incumbent) 21,448 22.1%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ via Associated Press. "Hamilton's Bill Baroni tapped for Port Authority job", The Trentonian, February 19, 2010. Accessed February 23, 2010.
  2. ^ Boburg, Shawn; Reitmeyer, John (December 13, 2013). "Christie's top Port Authority appointee resigns amid escalating probe into GWB lane closures". Bergen Record. 
  3. ^ Sullivan, John. Bucking the Trend, One Republican Got In, The New York Times, November 23, 2003. Accessed February 21, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d Senator Baroni's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed April 24, 2008.
  5. ^ Walsh, Diane C. "Getting votes one at a time: Baroni builds ties with constituents", The Star-Ledger, February 29, 2004. Accessed August 10, 2007. "Knocking on more than 10,000 doors in Mercer and Middlesex counties helped Republican Bill Baroni win the 14th District Assembly race last fall when so many of his GOP colleagues were left by the wayside.... The hostilities from the fall campaign, when Baroni ousted Greenstein's running mate, incumbent Gary Guear, have faded somewhat. Greenstein's staffers even attended the meeting at Pierre's."
  6. ^ "Indian-American Chivukula wins New Jersey Assembly polls", The Hindu, November 8, 2007. Accessed January 21, 2008.
  7. ^ "Inverso Leaving the Senate", The Trenton Times. Accessed March 28, 2007
  8. ^ Star Ledger "People to Watch in 2007: Bill Baroni", accessed January 24, 2007
  9. ^ "With Baroni out, Doherty may be front runner for '08". PolitickerNJ.com. March 26, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ "McCain picks Baroni to head N.J. campaign". PolitickerNJ. January 22, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2010. 
  11. ^ Mark Mueller (January 7, 2010). "N.J. Senate votes down same-sex marriage bill, gay rights advocates vow to bring issue to court". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  12. ^ "New Port Authority executive Bill Baroni starts powerful job, learns how to 'tweet'". The Trentonian. March 6, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Hamilton councilman wins N.J. Senate seat vacated by Bill Baroni". The Star-Ledger. March 12, 2010. Archived from the original on March 15, 2010. Retrieved March 14, 2010. 
  14. ^ http://www.northjersey.com/news/state/Top_Christie_apointee_resigns_amid_escalating_probe_into_George_Washington_Bridge_lane_closuers.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Soltis, Andy (January 10, 2014). "Christie appointee ordered officials’ silence on Bridgegate". New York Post. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  16. ^ Markos, Kirbet (January 9, 2014). "Six Bergen County residents file class-action lawsuits over GWB scandal". The Record. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  17. ^ "Firm website". Fornaro Francioso. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  18. ^ Supreme Court won't intervene in N.J. case: 'Let the campaign begin', CNN, October 8, 2002
  19. ^ "PANYNJ - Governance website". Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Archived from the original on May 28, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2011. 
  20. ^ New Jersey Boys' State Foundation Board of Trustees http://www.njbsf.org/php/who/trustees.php
  21. ^ "NY/NJ Port Authority boss and ex-fatso Bill Baroni pens book 'Fat Kid Got Fit, and So Can You'", Trentonian, Published 21 February 2012
  22. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2007 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 3, 2007. Accessed December 16, 2013.
  23. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for General Assembly For November 2005 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 16, 2005. Accessed December 16, 2013.
  24. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for General Assembly For November 2003 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 2, 2003. Accessed December 16, 2013.

External links[edit]

New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Gary Guear
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 14th district

2004–2008
Succeeded by
Wayne DeAngelo
New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Peter Inverso
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 14th district

2008–2010
Succeeded by
Tom Goodwin