Kevin J. O'Toole

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Kevin O'Toole
Chair of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Assumed office
August 3, 2017
Preceded byJohn J. Degnan
Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Assumed office
July 2, 2017
Preceded byPat Schuber
Member of the New Jersey Senate
In office
January 8, 2008 – July 1, 2017
Preceded byHenry McNamara
Succeeded byKristin Corrado
Constituency40th district
In office
May 5, 2001 – January 8, 2002
Preceded byC. Louis Bassano
Succeeded byRichard Bagger
Constituency21st district
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
In office
January 8, 2002 – January 8, 2008
Preceded byNicholas Felice
Succeeded byScott Rumana
Constituency40th district
In office
January 9, 1996 – May 5, 2001
Preceded byMaureen Ogden
Succeeded byEric Munoz
Constituency21st district
Personal details
Born (1964-10-05) October 5, 1964 (age 56)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Bethany O'Toole
Alma materSeton Hall University (BA, JD)

Kevin J. O'Toole (born October 5, 1964) is an American Republican Party politician, who served in the New Jersey Senate. O'Toole represented the 40th legislative district, which consists of parts of Bergen, Essex, Morris, and Passaic counties from 2008 to 2017.

O'Toole was elected to the Assembly in 1995 and re-elected five times. He served in the Senate from May 2001 to January 2002, and was elected to the Senate again on November 6, 2007. O'Toole serves in the Senate on the Budget and Appropriations Committee and on the Senate Judiciary Government Committee. He also served as the Senate Minority Whip.[1]

In January 2016, O'Toole announced that he would not seek re-election in 2017.[2] In February 2017, Governor Chris Christie nominated him to a six-year term on the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to succeed Pat Schuber.[3] The State Senate confirmed his nomination in March 2017, though O'Toole has indicated that it may take a few months to wrap up his time in the Senate before he takes office as a commissioner.[4]

O'Toole resigned from the State Senate on July 1, 2017 after being confirmed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[5]

Early life and career[edit]

O'Toole was born in Cedar Grove, New Jersey to an Irish American father and Korean mother who met during the Korean War. He graduated from Cedar Grove High School and earned a B.A. in Political Science / Public Administration and a J.D. in 1989 from Seton Hall University. He later passed the bar exam in 1989 and served a clerkship in the office of the State Attorney General.[1][6]

At the age of 25, O'Toole began his political career by serving on the Cedar Grove Township Council from 1989 to 1996. He was elected as its Mayor from 1990 to 1991, 1993 to 1994 and from 1995 to 1996.[1] O'Toole was later elected as Chairman of the Essex County Republican Committee from 1997 to 2011.

In 1995, O'Toole was elected to the General Assembly, the lower house of the New Jersey State Legislature, representing the 21st Legislative District. He was appointed as the Assembly's Deputy Republican Leader from 2004 to 2008 and was the Assistant Majority Leader from 1998 to 2001.[1] O'Toole was briefly appointed to the State Senate in 2001, where he served for eight months before redistricting forced him into a different legislative district.[1]

In 2007, O'Toole defeated Democrat John Zunic to win election to the New Jersey Senate seat in the 40th District, filling the seat vacated by Henry McNamara, a fellow Republican who had represented the district since 1985. O'Toole's running mates David C. Russo and Scott Rumana also won election.[7]

After his brother's death in 2001, O'Toole retired from his position as Chairman of the Essex County Republican Committee and recommended that County Party Executive Director Al Barlas from Bloomfield succeed him. Barlas serves as O'Toole's Chief of Staff.[8]

By profession, O'Toole is an attorney with the firm of O'Toole Fernandez Weiner Vanlieu LLC.[1] Senator O'Toole and his wife, Bethany, have two children, Kevin Jr. and Ryan Marie.[9]

State legislator[edit]

O'Toole has sponsored laws to reform welfare, strengthen domestic violence statutes, increase penalties on businesses and individuals who engage in discrimination, mandate insurance coverage for mammography and for treatment of breast and cervical cancer, preserve the state's drinking water supply through the preservation of Sterling Forest, and create more government transparency. In the state legislature, O'Toole has been a proponent of ethics reform in New Jersey government. He was the original sponsor of legislation creating pension reform in New Jersey. He has sponsored legislation to streamline government, promote education, protect the environment, and lower property taxes. O'Toole was one of the primary sponsors of pre-paid college education expense program (529 college savings plan) and legislation that would prohibit campaign contributions from vendors who have government contracts.[9]

In 2013, O'Toole challenged Thomas Kean Jr. for the leadership of Republicans in the Senate. O'Toole was backed by Governor Chris Christie, reportedly because of disagreements with Kean in regards to strategy during the elections that year, where no gains occurred during the Senate elections despite Christie winning re-election with over 60% of the vote. Kean held on to his position of Senate Minority Leader in a 10–6 caucus vote.[10][11] In the following session, Kean removed O'Toole from his position as Minority Whip.[12]

District 40[edit]

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 40th district for the 2016-2017 Legislative Session are:[13]

Election history[edit]

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin J. O'Toole (incumbent) 37,565 65.9
Democratic William Meredith Ashley 19,401 34.1
Republican hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[15]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin J. O'Toole (incumbent) 22,821 62.4
Democratic John Zunic 13,733 37.6
Republican hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2007[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin J. O'Toole 26,214 66.2
Democratic John Zunic 13,395 33.8
Republican hold


  1. ^ a b c d e f O'Toole's Legislative Website, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 20, 2008.
  2. ^ Livio, Susan K. "Longtime N.J. senator says he won't run again in 2017", NJ Advance Media for, January 15, 2016. Accessed November 23, 2016. "Republican state Sen. Kevin O'Toole of Essex County announced Friday morning he will not seek reelection after his term ends in two years, capping a 22-year tenure in the New Jersey Legislature."
  3. ^ Arco, Matt. "Christie appoints longtime loyalist to Port Authority board", NJ Advance Media for, February 27, 2017. Accessed February 28, 2017. "Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday Sen. Kevin O'Toole, a lawmaker who has long been loyal to him, will serve on the Port Authority's board of commissioners. O'Toole (R-Essex) announced in January he won't seek re-election to his Senate seat after serving as a legislator for more than two decades. Christie's office announced his longtime ally would replace outgoing Commissioner Pat Schuber."
  4. ^ Johnson, Brent. "Christie ally confirmed to join Port Authority board", NJ Advance Media for, March 14, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2017. "State Sen. Kevin O'Toole, a longtime ally of Gov. Chris Christie, was one of two Christie nominees confirmed Monday to join the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's board of commissioners.... The lawmaker announced last year that he would retire next January after 21 years in the state Legislature. Now, O'Toole told NJ Advance Media, he intends to leave even earlier to serve on the board, though he may not do so for a few months, in part to tie up loose ends in the Senate."
  5. ^ Cowen, Richard (July 26, 2017). "Corrado tapped to replace O'Toole in state Senate". Retrieved October 5, 2017. Republicans in the 40th District on Wednesday selected Kristin Corrado to finish the unexpired Senate term of Kevin O'Toole, who resigned on July 1.
  6. ^ Deignan, Tom. "The Asians, the Irish and Sharpton", Irish Voice, June 8, 2007. Accessed July 7, 2008. "For the record, O’Toole’s father was Irish. He fought in the Korean War, and met his future wife in Korea. O’Toole the politician was born in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1964, and later attended Cedar Grove High School and Seton Hall University."
  7. ^ "District 40 results", The Record (Bergen County), November 7, 2007. Accessed November 10, 2007.
  8. ^ "O'Toole retires as Essex County GOP Chairman". 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  9. ^ a b Senator Kevin O'Toole, New Jersey Senate Republicans. Accessed November 23, 2016.
  10. ^ Magyar, Mark J. (November 8, 2013). "KEAN SURVIVES OUSTER VOTE DESPITE CHRISTIE ARM-TWISTING". NJ Spotlight. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  11. ^ Friedman, Matt (November 7, 2013). "Despite opposition from Christie, Tom Kean Jr. wins fourth term as N.J. Senate Minority Leader". Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  12. ^ Friedman, Matt (March 10, 2014). "Tom Kean Jr.'s payback: NJ Senators who opposed him removed from leadership". Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  13. ^ Legislative Roster 2016-2017 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed November 23, 2016
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed June 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2007 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 3, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2012.

External links[edit]

New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Maureen Ogden
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 21st district

January 9, 1996–May 5, 2001
Served alongside: Monroe Jay Lustbader, Joel Weingarten
Succeeded by
Eric Munoz
Preceded by
Nicholas Felice
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 40th district

January 8, 2002–January 8, 2008
Served alongside: David C. Russo
Succeeded by
Scott Rumana
New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
C. Louis Bassano
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 21st district

May 5, 2001–January 8, 2002
Succeeded by
Richard Bagger
Preceded by
Henry McNamara
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 40th district

January 8, 2008–July 1, 2017
Succeeded by
Kristin Corrado
Political offices
Preceded by
Pat Schuber
Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
July 2, 2017–present
Preceded by
John J. Degnan
Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
August 3, 2017–present