North Caldwell is a small suburban town with a population of 6,694 in North West Essex, where Tony Soprano lived. This is where MP Josh Gotheimer grew up, and where Thomas Moser, who was sitting in his kitchen in 1994, was killed when he received a mail bomb from Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski.
After new legislative maps are redrawn after each decade of the census, no municipality in the state has been more mobile than North Caldwell. The district was moved to a new legislature in each of the nine rounds of redistribution that followed the 1966 Constitutional Distribution Convention.
A new map approved this month moved North Caldwell from the 26th arrondissement, which included Jefferson in the west of Maurice and West Milford in the west of Pasaic, to the 40th arrondissement, which includes parts of the counties of Bergen and Pasaic.
North Caldwell is tuned for portability. The district is 3% of the legislature and borders six municipalities in Essex and Little Falls in Pasayka.
Until 1967, seats in the Assembly were distributed according to population, but legislators were elected in general elections in the county. New Jersey first created Constituency Assembly in the run-up to the 1967 election.
Essex 11-E County has merged North Caldwell with Bloomfield, Cedar Grove, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Moncler, Verona and West Caldwell. Two Republicans won the seat, Herbert Rinaldi (R-Glen Ridge) and Jack Dennis (R-Verona). Rinaldi later became a legal partner of Brendan Byrne, and Dennis was the owner of the Annin Flag Company.
When New Jersey adapted to the U.S. Supreme Court’s “One Man, One Voice” ruling, the state reassigned the state in 1969, 1971, and 1973.
North Caldwell moved to Essex County 11-F in 1969, extending from Irvington, Maplewood, Milburn and Livingston through much of West Essex to Fairfield. That year, Assembly members Thomas Keane (R-Livingston) and Philip Kaltenbacher (R-Short Hills) were re-elected.
The 1971 map moved North Caldwell to Essex County 11-D, which also included East Orange, Orange, West Orange, Caldwell and Essex Falls. Their new legislators were Assembly members Eldridge Hawkins (D-East Orange) and Peter Stewart (D-Caldwell).
In 1973, New Jersey moved to the current plan of 40 legislative counties that crossed the county for the first time. Each constituency elects one senator and two members of the Assembly.
North Caldwell was located in the new 25th District of West Essex, which ran from Milburn to Wayne in Paseke County and included Lincoln Park and Pequenc in Maurice. The county had four incumbent leaders, all Republicans: State Senator James Walwork (R-Short Hills), MP Michael Horn (R-Wayne), Keane and Kaltenbacher. Horn decided not to seek re-election – when Keane became governor eight years later, Horn became treasurer – and three other incumbents did not oppose the Republican primaries.
Kaltenbacher changed his mind to run for a fourth term around Labor Day, and Republican district committees instead elected former Essex Republican Vice President Jane Bourgeois of North Caldwell to run for assembly with Keane.
Bourgeois defeated Wayne Councilman Joseph Aquarius, chairman of the Republican Party, by nine votes, 77-7. Essex chose Bourgeois as its candidate a few days earlier after she competed with eight others for party support.
Among the Republicans of Bourgeois who were defeated in Essex was another resident of North Caldwell, Ralph Kaputa. Caputo was a Republican member of the North Ward of Newark from 1968 to 1972; his political career experienced a boom when in 2002 he was elected a Democrat from Essex County and returned to the State Assembly as a Democrat from Belleville in 2007. Caputo now lives in Nutley.
North Caldwell won both seats in the Assembly after the 1977 election. Keane stepped down to get Republicans nominated for governor, and Essex County GOP chairman (and North Caldwell Republican Municipal Party chairman) Frederick Remington was given an open seat.
After Walwork announced he would leave the Senate in 2001 to run for governor (the 25th constituency had a total of four residents who participated in Republican primaries), Bourgeois and Remington began seeking party support for an open seat in the Senate.
But in 1981, the Legislative Transformation District moved North Caldwell to the new 34th County, which ran from Clifton to Wayne and included Little Falls, Totava, Woodland Park, North Caldwell, Fairfield and West Caldwell. Passaic Republicans took all three seats, pushing two lawmakers from North Caldwell, Bourgeois and Remington, to retire. (Bourgeois later spent eight years as Secretary of State of New Jersey under Keen).
In 1991, North Caldwell was transferred to the 21st County, which ran from Russell Park in Union County to Cedar Grove.
Ten years later a new draw of the 27th arrondissement stretched from parts of Newark, South Orange and Orange to North Caldwell. It included Caldwell, Essex Falls, Fairfield, Livingston, Maplewood, Rosland, West Caldwell and West Orange. After the 2001 election, North Caldwell will now be represented in the legislature by Democrats, for the first time since Joseph Mecca (D-Tatawa) ousted Republican MP Newton Miller (R. Wayne) in 1989. He was represented by State Senator Richard Cody (D-Roseland), collector members John McKeon (D-West Orange) and Mims Hackett (D-Orange) and collector member Milo Jesse (D-South Orange).
When new legislative districts were formed in 2011, North Caldwell moved to the 26th district, where it is now located. She is represented by Uzip from the Senate minority, Joseph Penacchia (R-Montville) and MP Jay Weber (R-Morris Plains) and Christian Baranka (R-Jefferson).
The new map contains North Caldwell and six other Essex cities – Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fels, Fairfield, Verona and West Caldwell – in the 40th arrondissement, as well as Wayne, Little Falls, Totova and Woodland Park in Woodland Park. and Lake Franklin, Ridgewood and Wykaf in Bergen.