Former Assemblyman John V. Kelly, a Nutley Republican who served in the State Assembly from 1982 to 1984, and again from 1986 to 2002, passed away last night. Kelly also served as Mayor of Nutley, and lost State Senate bids in 2001 and 2003. He was 83.
Kelly first went to the Assembly in 1981 after five-term Assemblyman Carl Orechio (R-Nutley) retired. He lost his seat after two years to a young political scientist with a political pedigree, 25-year-old Stephen Adubato, Jr. Kelly and Marion Crecco, the wife of the Mayor of Bloomfield, came back to win both Assembly seat in 1985.
Kelly gave up his Assembly seat to challenge State Sen. Garry Furnari (D-Nutley) in 2001, but lost narrowly. He lost again in 2003 to State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge).