Former legislator Ned Parsekian dies at 86; ran for Governor, Congress

Former State Sen. Ned J. Parsekian, a Bergen County Democrat who ran for Governor in 1969, died on Monday in Sarasota, Florida, according to his law partner, Melvin Solomon. He was 86.

A graduate of New York University and Columbia Law School, and a World War II veteran, Parsekian began his political career serving in the administration of Gov. Robert Meyner. He was Deputy Attorney General, Director of the state Division of Workmen's Compensation, and Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles. He held the post on an acting basis for three years before the Republican-controlled Senate confirmed his nomination.

Parsekian was elected to the State Senate in 1965 and lost re-election in 1967. He briefly considered entering the race to challenge GOP U.S. Sen. Clifford Case in 1966, but declined. Democrats later decided to back Warren Wilentz, the Middlesex County Prosecutor, for the post.

In 1969, Parsekian sought the Democratic nomination for Governor. He lost to his onetime mentor, Meyner, finishing fifth in a field of six candidates. Parsekian ran for Congress in 1974, but lost the Democratic primary to Andrew Maguire, who went on to oust 11-term Rep. William Widnall in the Watergate year. Former legislator Ned Parsekian dies at 86; ran for Governor, Congress