Paul Sarlo

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Paul Sarlo
Paul Sarlo.jpg
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 36th district
Assumed office
May 19, 2003
Preceded byGarry Furnari
Mayor of Wood-Ridge
Assumed office
January 1, 2000
Preceded byPaul Calocino
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 36th district
In office
January 8, 2002 – May 19, 2003
Serving with Paul DiGaetano
Preceded byJohn V. Kelly
Succeeded byFrederick Scalera
Personal details
Born (1968-08-31) August 31, 1968 (age 50)
Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Concetta Maria
ResidenceWood-Ridge, New Jersey
Alma materNew Jersey Institute of Technology
OccupationChief operating officer (Joseph M. Sanzari, Inc.); mayor; State Senator

Paul A. Sarlo (born August 31, 1968) is an American construction industry executive and Democratic Party politician, who has served in the New Jersey State Senate since 2003, where he represents the 36th Legislative District. Sarlo is a former Assistant Majority Leader of the Senate, a position held from 2004 until 2007, is currently a Deputy Majority Leader (since 2008), and is also mayor of the borough of Wood-Ridge, New Jersey.

Personal life[edit]

Sarlo was born in Passaic on August 31, 1968 to pipe fitter and construction supervisor Anthony Sarlo and Providence Munofo,[1] he grew up in Wood-Ridge and graduated from Wood-Ridge High School.[2] Sarlo received both a B.S. and an M.S. from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Civil Engineering.[3]

He is chief operating officer Joseph M. Sanzari, Inc., a general contractor specializing in heavy construction, site work and utilities.[4] Sarlo has overseen more than $150 million in projects and has worked with a skilled workforce of more than 200 men and women, he worked on the Route 4 and Route 17 interchange in Paramus, which was completed two years ahead of schedule. He is an active supporter of the construction of LG Electronics USA's headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, abutting The Palisades.[5]

He married Concetta Maria Sarlo in 1997 and has two sons,[2][6] his brother Thomas is a councilman in Little Ferry.[1]

Political career[edit]

Before his service as State Senator, Sarlo spent one term in the General Assembly, the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature, from 2002 to 2003,[3] he and Wallington, New Jersey mayor Walter Wargacki sought to unseat Republican incumbent Paul DiGaetano and take the second seat that was vacated when John Kelly decided to challenge for the State Senate (which he lost). Although the Democrats did not gain both seats Sarlo was able to finish second in the voting and won a seat. After he was appointed to the State Senate he was replaced by Frederick Scalera.

As an Assemblyman, he served as Vice Chairman of the Labor Committee and as a member of the Appropriations Committee. Additionally, he was a member of the Assembly Light Rail Panel and the Assembly Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility. While in the Assembly, Sarlo was the prime sponsor of the bill creating a $29 million grant to establish a statewide bio-terrorism response plan, he also sponsored legislation to restore the Office of Public Advocate and to provide benefits and incentives for members of volunteer fire departments and rescue squads. He has also taken leading roles on legislation related to the health and welfare of women and children.

Sarlo was appointed as state senator when former District 36 Senator Garry Furnari, an attorney and mayor of Nutley was appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court. Sarlo had been the choice of Bergen County Democratic Organization Chairman Joe Ferriero to succeed Furnari.[7]

In the 2003 general election, Sarlo was challenged by former New Jersey General Assembly member John V. Kelly. Sarlo outspent Kelly by a nearly three-to-one margin in a pivotal race at a time when the Senate was evenly split between the two major parties and a change in party for any one seat could tip control of the upper house.[8] Democrats won full control of the Senate and Sarlo won election to a full term in office by a margin of 53–44%.[9] Sarlo was re-elected in 2007 by defeating Michael Guarino and in 2011 by defeating Donald DiOrio.[10]

In the Senate for the 2018-19 session, Sarlo serves on the Budget and Appropriations Committee (as Chair), the Higher Education Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Legislative Oversight Committee.[3] On November 23, 2009, the New Jersey Senate Democrats chose Sarlo to replace Barbara Buono, who was chosen to be Majority Leader, replacing Stephen Sweeney, who became President of the New Jersey Senate, on January 12, 2010. Sarlo was Chairman-designate of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and began his chairmanship on January 12, 2010, he was also on the 2011 New Jersey Apportionment Commission, the committee delegated to redraw the state legislative districts following the 2010 Census.[11]

Sarlo has been a long-time proponent of the EnCap plan, he sponsored a bill in 2004 that enabled three Meadowlands communities to negotiate their own deals with EnCap. The results were three agreements that would turn over 40% - 50% of all future tax revenues to the impacted area municipalities.

A judge knocked Sarlo's 2007 GOP opponent, Michael Guarino, off the ballot, ruling that the outspoken critic of the EnCap redevelopment project had not collected enough valid signatures to qualify for a ballot position.[12] Even though Guarino was knocked off the ballot because of a lack of signatures, he got more than enough write in votes to win the GOP nomination.[13]

Sarlo served five years on the Wood-Ridge Borough Council (1995–2000). Since 2000 the Senator has served as the Mayor of Wood-Ridge Borough, he has been the Borough Engineer Borough of Carlstadt since 1998.[3]

He simultaneously holds a seat in the New Jersey Senate and as Mayor; this dual position, often called double dipping, is allowed under a grandfather clause in the state law enacted by the New Jersey Legislature and signed into law by Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine in September 2007 that prevents dual-office-holding but allows those who had held both positions as of February 1, 2008, to retain both posts.[14]

District 36[edit]

Each of the 40 districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly; the other representatives from the 36th District for the 2018-2019 Legislative Session are:[15][16]

Election history[edit]

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Paul Sarlo (incumbent) 22,677 59.7
Republican Brian A. Fitzhenry 15,293 40.3
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Paul A. Sarlo (incumbent) 18,582 62.7
Republican Donald D. DiOrio 11,055 37.3
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2007[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Paul A. Sarlo (incumbent) 14,895 56.8
Republican Michael A. Guarino 11,317 43.2
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2003[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Paul A. Sarlo (incumbent) 18,035 53.2
Republican John V. Kelly 14,964 44.2
Independent Richard Delaosa 496 1.5
Independent Maximo Moscoso 348 1.2
Democratic hold


  1. ^ a b "Anthony SARLO Obituary". The Record. August 30, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2015. Anthony is also survived by his four children; ... Senator/Mayor Paul A. Sarlo and his wife Concetta of Wood-Ridge; and Councilman Thomas A. Sarlo and his wife Michele of Little Ferry.
  2. ^ a b Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey - Two Hundred and Eleventh Legislature (First Session) (PDF). Skinder-Strauss Associates. 2004. p. 242. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Senator Sarlo's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed April 3, 2008.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Senator Paul A. Sarlo". Archived from the original on 2015-02-19. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  7. ^ Gohlke, Josh. "Wood-Ridge mayor sworn in as senator; Democrats speed up Sarlo's promotion.", The Record (Bergen County), May 20, 2003. "Democratic Wood-Ridge Mayor Paul Sarlo took a promotion to the upper house of the Legislature on Monday, when he was sworn in as a state senator, replacing Garry J. Furnari of Nutley.... Furnari's nomination for a Superior Court judgeship - and its rapid confirmation in an emergency Senate session this month - allowed Sarlo, the choice of Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero, to take his seat."
  8. ^ Brennan, John. "St. Patrick’s Day fixture John Kelly is dead at 83", The Record (Bergen County), November 1, 2009. Accessed November 2, 2009.
  9. ^ Kocieniewski, David. "The 2003 Election: The Statehouse; Democrats Seize Senate And Widen Assembly Gap", The New York Times, November 5, 2003. Accessed November 2, 2009.
  10. ^ Hampton, Deon J. "Democrats holding leads in District 36 races", The Record (Bergen County), November 8, 2011. Accessed November 10, 2011. "Incumbent Democratic state Sen. Paul A. Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, had a commanding lead over his Republican challenger, Donald Diorio, late Tuesday night."
  11. ^ "New Jersey Apportionment Committee - Commission Membership". Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  12. ^ Carmiel, Oshrat. "Sarlo foe knocked off ballot by judge", The Record (Bergen County), April 19, 2007. Accessed July 16, 2007. "An administrative judge in Newark ruled that Sarlo's last-minute GOP opponent, Michael Guarino, a 78-year-old agitator and outspoken critic of the proposed EnCap luxury golf village, did not have enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot."
  13. ^ Friedman, Matt. "Guarino campaign releases poll" Archived 2007-07-06 at the Wayback Machine,, July 2, 2007. Accessed April 3, 2008.
  14. ^ via Associated Press. "N.J. Lawmakers keep double dipping", WPVI-TV, March 4, 2008. Accessed June 4, 2009.
  15. ^ Legislative Roster 2018-2019 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 1, 2018.
  16. ^ District 36 Legislators, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 1, 2018.
  17. ^ New Jersey Legislative Digest for January 29, 2018, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 1, 2018. "Assemblywoman Marlene Caride, of the 36th Legislative District, has resigned."
  18. ^ "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2015 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  19. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed June 25, 2012.
  20. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2007 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 3, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2012.
  21. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2003 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 2, 2003. Accessed June 25, 2012.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Barbara Buono
Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
January 12, 2010 - present
Succeeded by
New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Garry Furnari
Member of the New Jersey Senate for the 36th District
May 19, 2003 – present
Succeeded by
New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
John V. Kelly
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 36th District
January 8, 2002 – May 19, 2003
With: Paul DiGaetano
Succeeded by
Frederick Scalera
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Calocino
Mayor of Wood-Ridge, New Jersey
January 1, 2000 – present
Succeeded by