PRINCETON – Shirley Kauffman, former president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization, died Monday at 82 after a long battle with cancer.
"Shirley was an outstanding member of the community and will be greatly missed," PCDO President Jenny Crumiller said in an email to Democrats. "For many years she was the backbone of the PCDO."
Democrats in Princeton knew Kauffman as a hard-nosed veteran of political campaigns and activist for progressive causes.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton) worked with Kauffman on the late Barbara Boggs Sigmund’s Democratic Primary race for governor in 1989, when Sigmund ran against Alan Karcher and eventual winner Jim Florio.
Gusciora served as Sigmund’s driver, and the first thing Kauffman, who was the campaign’s scheduler, would say to him when she got him on the phone was, "Where the hell are you?"
Kauffman later worked for Gusciora in his legislative office while another staffer was out on maternity leave. "She really ran that place," said the assemblyman. "She knew all about politics, and she was a pistol. It was great working with her."