“This is terribly sad news, especially for those of us who knew and worked with Kathy in the Legislature. She was part of family among the senators and staff of the Senate Democrats,” Sweeney said.
“Kathy was a trailblazer as the first woman to serve as executive director of a legislative staff where she set an example of professionalism and integrity that everyone respected and admired. She was dedicated to public service and public policy and always worked to achieve what was best for the people of New Jersey. She was a mentor to young people in government and a trusted colleague to coworkers who was loyal to me and my fellow senators. Kathy was also a good friend to all of us. She will be missed but she will not be forgotten.
“My sincere condolences to Kathy’s family, friends and loved ones. We share in this loss,” the senate president added.
A friend of Ms. Crotty’s told PolitickerNJ that she was treated for cancer some time ago. He was checking this morning on the specific circumstances of her death.
According to her official biography at the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics, Ms. Crotty became executive director of New Jersey’s Senate Democratic Office in 1986 and served there until her retirement in April, 2009, first appointed by Senate President John Russo and later reappointed by Senate Presidents John Lynch and Richard Codey.
Ms. Crotty first joined the Senate staff in 1974 as special assistant to the executive director. Throughout her career, she worked to professionalize the legislature and its staff and expand public access to and understanding of the legislative process, according to Eagleton.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. issued a statement.
“On behalf of the Senate Republicans, I want to express my sincerest condolences to Kathy Crotty’s family and friends in their time of grief,” said Kean. “Kathy was an integral part of the legislature for many years and was greatly respected not only for being the first woman to hold the role of executive director in the Senate Democrats office, but for being a hardworking and ethical public servant. I have fond memories of Kathy from our time working together, which I will cherish as I pray for her and her loved ones.”
A 1962 graduate of East Orange Catholic High School. Ms. Crotty served on the Legislative Management Committee to the National Conference of State Legislatures (1982-90) and as a member of the Suggested State Legislation Committee of the Council of State Governments.
She was involved in and advised a number of gubernatorial and legislative campaigns. A founding member of PAM’S List, a political action committee devoted to supporting Democratic women candidates for the State Legislature, Ms. Crotty was long active in women’s political advocacy, having served on the advisory committees for Ready to Run and the Wynona Lipman Chair on Women’s Political Leadership at the Center for American Woman and Politics at Rutgers University.
She has received the New Jersey Policy Research Organization Leadership Award sponsored by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (2004), the Women’s Political Caucus Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award (2001), the Service Award from the New Jersey Federation of Democratic Women, Mercer Chapter (1995); the Recognition Award from the Women’s Political Caucus (1986). She was elected as District Delegate to the 1996 Democratic National Convention and is a former member of the New Jersey State Board of Canvassers (1996).
Ms. Crotty was a graduate of Rutgers University-Newark College of Arts and Science.