Connors is seven years away from breaking Rodgers’ record

While Leonard Connors is leaving the State Senate, he has no intention of giving up his other job: Mayor of Surf City, the borough of 1,442 people on Long Beach Island in Ocean County. Connors was first elected Mayor in 1966, after four years as a Councilman. The 78-year-old Connors is in range of becoming America’s longest-serving Mayor — a record held by another New Jerseyan, Frank E. Rodgers, who was Mayor of Harrison for 48 years. He is up for re-election this year (he often runs unopposed) and must spend seven more years in office to break Rodgers’ record. Rodgers was elected Mayor in 1946 and served until his retirement in 1994. On May 30, 1987 — the day Rodgers broke the previous record set by Erastus Corning, who spent 40 yers, four months and 28 days as Mayor of Albany, New York) — municipal office and local schools closed so that the community could celebrate the tenure of their Mayor. Poor health prevented Rodgers from seeking re-election in 1994, and he passed away in 2000 at age ninety. Ironically, Connors and Rodgers served together in the New Jersey Senate. Rodgers was elected State Senator in 1977 (when he unseated incumbent Anthony Imperiale) and served until 1983, when he was elected Hudson County Clerk. Connors went to the Senate in 1981 when redistricting gave Ocean County an additional legislative district.

Connors is seven years away from breaking Rodgers’ record