Norman M. Robertson
|Norman M. Robertson|
|New Jersey State Senator|
January 1998 – January 2002
|Preceded by||Joseph Bubba|
|Succeeded by||Nia Gill|
April 12, 1951 |
Paterson, New Jersey
|Residence||Clifton, New Jersey|
|Alma mater||Rutgers University|
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, he earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University with a major in Political Science and was awarded his law degree from the Fordham University School of Law. An attorney by profession, Robertson served on the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, where he was the Chairman of the Freeholder Finance and Administration Committee. He was also Chairman of the Passaic County Utilities Authority and served on the Urban Economic Development Task Force.
In 1982, Robertson was the Republican nominee for Congress in the 8th district against Democratic incumbent Robert Roe, but won only 29% of the vote. He ran again for Congress again in 1992 when Roe retired, but lost the Republican primary to State Senator Joseph Bubba by a 63%-25% margin.
In 1997, Robertson announced he was going to seek the Republican nomination for Bubba's seat in the State Senate. Benefitting from support that put him on the primary line with the incumbent Assembly members in the district, Robertson handily defeated Bubba in the election that followed. Robertson won the general election in 1997 with 53.9% of the vote, defeating Democrat Joan Waks, who had garnered 46.1% of the vote. While in the Senate, Robertson served as Vice Chair of the Senior Citizens, Veterans' Affairs and Human Services Committee, on the Judiciary Committee and on the State Government, Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.
Robertson, a white Republican, sharply criticized the Apportionment Commission's 2001 redistricting map, stating that his "belief is that the map is racist" because it reduced the voting strength of African-American voters in Essex County calling it "the result of a manipulation of the African-American community to serve the white political establishment".
Robertson lost his bid for re-election in 2001 to then-District 27 Assemblywoman Nia Gill, after heavily Democratic communities (including Gill's) had been added to the 34th District as part of the 2001 redistricting. District 34 had long been a Republican stronghold; the redistricting also cost nine-term incumbent Assemblyman Gerald H. Zecker to lose his seat. In a three-way race, Gill took the seat with 64.9% of the votes cast, Robertson receiving 34.4% and Marie Yvrose Celestin receiving under one percent of the vote.
Sixteen years after his defeat, Robertson announced he would be running for the state legislature once again. Robertson and former District 36 Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano announced a combined effort to fill two of the three seats in New Jersey Legislative District 40. At its March 2017 convention, Republicans selected DiGaetano as its nominee for Senate, with Robertson and Christopher Phillips as nominees for General Assembly.
- Norman M. Robertson, New Jersey Legislature, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 22, 1998. Accessed May 29, 2010.
- Pristin, Terry. "State Senator Loses His Seat", The New York Times, June 5, 1997. Accessed June 20, 2016. "Mr. Bubba, a former chairman of the Passaic County Republican Party, was openly attacked by party leaders from his county, who campaigned for his opponent, Norman M. Robertson, a Clifton lawyer."
- NJ Senate District 34 - History, OurCampaigns.com. Accessed May 29, 2010,
- Halbfinger, David M. "New Jersey Legislature Votes To Delay Primaries 3 Weeks", The New York Times, April 24, 2001. Accessed May 29, 2010.
- Gohlke, Josh; and Hughes, Jennifer V. "District 34", The Record (Bergen County), November 7, 2001. Accessed May 29, 2010. "Four-term Assemblywoman Nia Gill, D-Montclair, was well ahead of freshman Sen. Norman Robertson, R-Clifton, in the race for the district's Senate seat. With most districts reporting, Gill was overwhelming Robertson with more than 80 percent of the vote."
- Halbfinger, David M. "Control of the State Senate Hinges on a Handful of Races", The New York Times, November 4, 2001. Accessed May 29, 2010.
- Cowen, Richard. "Bergen Republicans pick DiGaetano in 40th District", The Record (Bergen County), March 23, 2017. Accessed March 24, 2017. "DiGaetano, a former state assemblyman who quit electoral politics in 2006 after a failed run for governor, got a boost in his comeback bid when the Bergen County committee awarded him the A line in the June primary.... For the two assembly seats in the 40th District, the county committee endorsed DiGaetano's running mate, Norm Robertson of Wayne. It also gave the nod to Christopher DePhillips for the other assembly seat."