Glenn Cunningham (New Jersey politician)

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Glenn Dale Cunningham
43rd Mayor of Jersey City
In office
July 1, 2001 – May 25, 2004
Preceded byBret Schundler
Succeeded byL. Harvey Smith
Personal details
Born(1943-09-16)September 16, 1943
DiedMay 25, 2004(2004-05-25) (aged 60)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Sandra Bolden
ResidenceJersey City, New Jersey
ProfessionUnited States Marine, Police Officer

Glenn Dale Cunningham (September 16, 1943 – May 25, 2004) was an American Democratic Party politician, who was the first African American Mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, the state's second-largest city, winning the 2001 Jersey City mayoral election. Cunningham also served in the New Jersey Senate.

After Cunningham's death, L. Harvey Smith became the acting mayor of Jersey City. In a November 2004 special election, Judge Jerramiah T. Healy was elected to complete the remainder of Cunningham's term. Joseph Doria was selected to fill Cunningham's Senate vacancy on an interim basis, and won a special election to fill the balance of the term.


Raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Cunningham attended Henry Snyder High School, and was inducted into the school's first hall of fame class in 2018.[1]

Before his election as mayor, Cunningham, a former Marine and member of the Jersey City Police Department for 25 years, had been appointed by President Bill Clinton as head of New Jersey's United States Marshals Service Office. He also served on the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, as Jersey City Council President, and as public safety director of Hudson County. Cunningham died at Greenville Hospital in Jersey City of a heart attack on May 23, 2004, aged 60.[2][3] He was a Master Mason and full member of the Most Worshipful Oriental Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons in Newark and was buried with Masonic honors in a funerary procession.

Cunningham's widow, Sandra Bolden Cunningham, has become a political leader in Jersey City in her own right. She reportedly considered a bid for her husband's State Senate seat in the 2004 special election[4] and a bid for the State Assembly in 2005. In March 2006 signs appeared around Jersey City touting Mrs. Cunningham as a candidate for the United States Senate either in a Democratic Party primary versus her husband's political rival, Sen. Bob Menendez or in the general election against Menendez and Republican State Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. Mrs. Cunningham defeated Assemblyman Louis Manzo in the June 2007 Democratic primary for State Senate and was elected to the Senate in November 2007.


  1. ^ Zeitlinger, Ron. "See who's in the first class of Snyder High School's Wall of Fame", The Jersey Journal, October 16, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2018. "Richie Glover (Class of '69), a college football Hall of Famer, Judge Shirley Tolentino and Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham will be joined by six others in the first class at the Jersey City school's auditorium on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m., the Parents Council of Henry Snyder High School announced."
  2. ^ "Died: Glenn D. Cunningham". Jet. 105 (24): 54. June 14, 2004. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Jersey City Mayor Glenn Cunningham: A life filled with firsts". April 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Three candidates expected to seek Cunningham Senate seat; Manzo says he'll run for Mayor Archived 2006-11-17 at the Wayback Machine,, June 2, 2004

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bret Schundler
Mayor of Jersey City
Succeeded by
L. Harvey Smith
New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
L. Harvey Smith
New Jersey State Senator
31st Legislative District

January 2004 – May 2004
Succeeded by
Joseph Doria