Gov. Jon Corzine's new Communications Director, Stephen Sigmund, has a political pedigree: he is the son of former Princeton Mayor Barbara Sigmund and the grandson of former House Majority Leader Hale Boggs (D-New Orleans). His grandmother, Lindy Boggs, represented Louisiana in Congress for seventeen years following the death of her husband, and later served as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. His aunt is journalist/author Cokie Roberts, and his uncle is Thomas Boggs, one of Washington's most powerful lobbyists.
The Star-Ledger reported on Sunday that Sigmund will take a leave of absence from his post with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to take over for Deborah Howlett, a former Star-Ledger statehouse reporter who is being reassigned. Sigmund, a former spokesman for New York City Public Advocate (and mayoral candidate) Mark Green, worked at the Port Authority when Jamie Fox, now a senior advisor to the Corzine campaign, was Deputy Executive Director.
Barbara Sigmund sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 1982 (against Frank Lautenberg) and for Governor in 1989 (against Jim Florio). She died in 1990, at age 51, after an eight-year battle with cancer.
On a campaign trip to Alaska to boost a freshman Democratic Congressman, a plane carrying Boggs and U.S. Rep. Nick Begich (D-AK) disappeared. The plane, presumed to have crashed, and the two Congressmen were never recovered. Begich's son, Mark Begich, unseated seven-term U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK).