Cardinale Adviser John Mcdonald

By Levin, Jay | The Record (Bergen County, NJ), April 9, 2013 | Go to article overview

Cardinale Adviser John Mcdonald


Levin, Jay, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


John McDonald, chief of staff and adviser to state Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Demarest, died Saturday. He was 71.

The cause was lung disease, said his wife, Maria.

Mr. McDonald met Cardinale in 1974 when Cardinale knocked on Mr. McDonald's door during his successful Demarest mayoral campaign. Mr. McDonald and Cardinale, who won election to the Assembly in 1979 and to the state Senate in 1981, became social friends.

After Mr. McDonald sold his Manhattan carting business, he went to work as a legislative aide to Cardinale. He became chief of staff 15 years ago.

"John wasn't some political junkie," Cardinale, 79, said Monday. "He brought a practical, real-world experience to our thought process. He had great insight into what things would mean to the average person."

Cardinale and Mr. McDonald shared countless drives between Trenton and Bergen County. "John would read the bill notes and memos and we would kick those things around to-gether in the car," Cardinale said.

Mr. McDonald oversaw a staff of four in the senator's district office in Cresskill.

John McDonald grew up in Rockville Centre, N. …

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