|Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 19th district
January 9, 1996
Serving with Craig Coughlin
|Preceded by||Ernest L. Oros|
|Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee|
|Preceded by||Joseph Cryan|
|Succeeded by||John Currie|
June 28, 1962 |
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Deborah McLaughlin (1990–present)|
|Residence||Sayreville, New Jersey|
|Alma mater||Rutgers University, New Brunswick (BA)
Seton Hall University (JD)
John S. Wisniewski (//; born June 28, 1962) is an American Democratic Party politician, who has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since 1996, where he represents the 19th Legislative District. He is currently a candidate in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2017.
Early life, education, and law career
Wisniewski was born on June 28, 1962, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He is of Polish descent, and the son of a factory worker. He attended Sacred Heart Elementary School in South Amboy and Sayreville War Memorial High School in nearby Sayreville, New Jersey.
In 1984, he received a B.A. from Rutgers University in English / Economics and was awarded a J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of Law in 1987, where he was a classmate of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Wisniewski is an adjunct professor at Monmouth University.
He also owns and runs a general practice law firm, Wisniewski and Associates, L.L.C., based out of Sayreville.
Before joining the General Assembly, Wisniewski served on the Sayreville Cable Television Advisory Board, the Middlesex County Senior Citizen Housing Task Force, and the Middlesex County Planning Board. He has also served on the Sayreville Board of Education's Building Utilization Committee. Assemblyman Wisniewski currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the United Way of Central New Jersey and is an Executive Board Member of the Middlesex County Arts and Education Council. He is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor of New Jersey.
Democrats statewide saw a net gain of three seats in the Assembly in the 1995 elections, with two of the pickups coming in the 19th District where Arline Friscia and Wisniewski knocked off the Republican incumbents Stephen A. Mikulak and Ernest L. Oros.
In the Assembly, Wisniewski has introduced legislation that includes the Work First New Jersey Act, which required individuals to work at jobs or in community services as a condition of their benefits, the Dormitory Safety Act which required the installation of sprinklers in all dormitories, the School Bus Enhanced Safety Inspection Act which created new ways and standards by which a school bus was inspected, and the Athletic Training Licensure Act which required athletic trainers to be licensed. Assemblyman Wisniewski also sponsored the bill that was signed into law which increased the property tax reduction for Veterans and seniors, legislation designed to strengthen Megan's Law by keeping sexual predators away from areas where children go to school and play, legislation which required newly constructed elevators in residential buildings to accommodate stretchers, legislation which required the implementation of a fire command structure in mutual aid fires, legislation which required that cell phone use be noted in traffic accidents, legislation that established a penalty for the theft of someone's personal identification information, and legislation which established a scholarship program for the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
In 2011, Wisniewski was the Democratic Co-chair of the 2011 New Jersey Apportionment Commission, the group charged with redrawing the lines for the legislative districts following the 2010 Census. Along with State Senator Loretta Weinberg, Wisniewski played a major role in uncovering the Fort Lee lane closure scandal. He is a co-chair of the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation tasked with investigating the scandal.
In 2013, Wisniewski joined the overwhelming majority of his fellow Democratic Party members in Middlesex County in endorsing Frank Pallone for U.S. Senate, in a special election after the death of longtime New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. He later endorsed the Democratic Party's ultimate nominee, Cory Booker.
In August 2015, Wisniewski voted in favor of funding Planned Parenthood in New Jersey, joining prominent New Jersey Democrats, including Sheila Oliver and Patrick Diegnan. He has also expressed that he would vote in favor of a gas tax hike only if Governor Christie was going to sign it into law.
Wisniewski was reelected in 2015 by a wide margin. He received the endorsement of numerous local newspapers, including the Home News Tribune, who also endorsed his running mate Craig Coughlin and fellow Central Jersey Nancy Pinkin and Diegnan.
In the Assembly he has served as the Deputy Speaker since 2004, was the Assistant Majority Leader from 2002–2003 and was the Deputy Minority Conference Leader 1998-2001. Wisniewski serves in the Assembly on the Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee (as Chair) and the Environment and Solid Waste Committee. Since 2000, he has chaired the state Fire Safety Commission.
In his role as Chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, Assemblyman Wisniewski led a fact finding probe into the state's E-ZPass system. Assemblyman Wisniewski is a prime sponsor of the Motor Vehicle Security and Customer Service Act which was signed into law on January 28, 2003. He was a prime sponsor of A-3392 which would consolidate two of the state's toll road agencies. He is also leading the investigation into the Fort Lee lane closure scandal. He has expressed grave skepticism about Christie's claim that he didn't know his aides had ordered lanes closed on the George Washington Bridge, and believes that the closures were illegal. He has also said that if Christie is involved, it would be an impeachable offense.
New Jersey Chairman for Bernie Sanders
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders announced on January 4, 2016 that Wisniewski would lead his New Jersey operation in his campaign for the democratic nomination in the United States presidential election, 2016. Wisniewski cited Sanders' efforts to reduce income inequality and take money out of politics as the main reasons for his endorsement. Being the only elected politician in New Jersey to endorse Senator Sanders, Wisniewski was at the forefront of the Senator's campaign in New Jersey, attending mock debates and hosting fundraisers. As it happened, however, in the primary portion of United States presidential election in New Jersey, 2016, Clinton won the state primary by a two-to-one margin.
Run for Governor
On November 15, 2016, Wisniewski announced formally that he was a candidate in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2017. In his message he implicitly criticized his chief opponent Phil Murphy, saying "I'm not a Wall Street executive. I haven't made hundreds of millions of dollars by outsourcing jobs. I've learned the value of public service. ..." Murphy had earlier knocked out many strong rivals in the race by his grabbing of party support and endorsements, but the subject refused to also drop out. The contest between the two holds the potential of being a nationally visible proxy battle between the establishment and grassroots factions for the future of the Democratic Party, given their past backings of Sanders and Clinton.
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 19th District for the 2012-2013 Legislative Session are:
They currently reside in Sayreville.
- Assembly Member John S. Wisniewski, Project Vote Smart. Accessed August 12, 2007.
- "Democratic State Committee picks Wisniewski to chair party". PolitickerNJ. 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
- Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey - Two Hundred and Eleventh Legislature (First Session) (PDF). Skinder-Strauss Associates. 2004. pp. 270–271. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- Assemblyman Wisniewski's legislative webpage, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed September 12, 2015.
-  Seton Hall Law Magazine, Fall 2010, pages 17-18
- Associated Press. "DEMOCRATS CHIP AWAY AT GOP IN ASSEMBLY", The Press of Atlantic City, November 8, 1995. Accessed July 7, 2010. "In the 19th, the Democratic sweep will bring John Wisniewski and Arline Friscia to office."
- "New Jersey Apportionment Committee - Commission Membership". Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- Lizza, Ryan (14 April 2014). "CROSSING CHRISTIE". New Yorker. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- ASSEMBLY, No. 3392, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed April 22, 2008.
- "N.J. lawmaker: Christie's bridge scandal explanation "unbelievable"". Face the Nation. CBS News. 2014-01-12.
- Isikoff, Michael (2014-01-11). "Democrat heading bridge probe says Christie could be impeached if he knew of closures". NBC News.
- Email, "I'm running for Governor of New Jersey", November 15, 2016.
- Legislative Roster 2012-2013 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 31, 2013.
- "Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski Bio Page". NJ Assembly Majority Office. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- Assemblyman Wisniewski's legislative webpage, New Jersey Legislature
- New Jersey Legislature financial disclosure forms
- Assembly Member John S. Wisniewski, Project Vote Smart
- New Jersey Voter Information Website 2003 (defunct)
- Assemblyman Wisniewski's Website (now for campaign)
- Official Governor campaign website
- Wisniewski's video announcing his run for Governor
|New Jersey General Assembly|
Ernest L. Oros
|Member of the New Jersey Assembly
from the 19th district
Served alongside: Arline Friscia, Joseph Vas, Craig Coughlin
|Party political offices|
|Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee