I, like everyone, was shocked and saddened to hear of Tom Blakely’s untimely passing. Tom was such a bright individual and a tremendously respected political mind. He was the mastermind behind ads, mail and strategy for which candidates like myself are very grateful. Most importantly, though, Tom was a kind man – understated in his demeanor but magnanimous in his wisdom. In my administration, I was struck by how often Tom was willing to go the extra mile; he never complained, just steadfastly pursued his responsibilities to the fullest. That was just who he was – passionate, determined and unwaveringly loyal to the campaigns and organizations in which he was involved. Tom was the type of person you enjoyed being around.
Here in New Jersey and across the country Tom’s death will be felt for many years to come. Most of all, I feel for his wife Debbie and their two young children. He will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers will be with his family in this difficult time.