Joseph Azzolina, veteran GOP legislator, dead at 84

Joseph Azzolina, who served in the State Senate and General Assembly during a political career that spanned five decades, passed away this evening.  He was 84.

Azzolina, a Monmouth County Republican, was first elected to the State Assembly in 1965, and re-elected in 1967 and 1969.  He was elected to the State Senate in 1971, and lost his bid for a second term in the Watergate landslide of 1973 to Democrat Eugene Bedell.  He returned to the Assembly in 1985, lost a Senate bid in 1987 and was defeated in a campaign for Congress in 1988.  He was elected for a third tenure in the State Assembly in 1991, and stayed until losing the 2005 Republican primary.

“A very sad day when we loose man like Joe. Our prayers are with his family,” said Leonard Inzerillo, a former Middletown school board member who nearly beat Azzolina in 2003.

Joseph Azzolina, veteran GOP legislator, dead at 84