Joseph C. Bodek, longtime Linden Town Clerk, was elected to the Union County Board of Commissioners tonight, replacing Christopher Hudak, who resigned to become Union County’s surrogate.
Bodek, who had the support of Senate President and Union County Democratic Party Chairman Nicholas Scutari and Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, won unopposed.
“Union County is fortunate to have such a dedicated public servant fill this vacancy,” Scutari said. “Joe is one of the most decent, honest, hard-working and dedicated people you will ever meet, and his election is a triumph for Union County and its Democratic Committee.”
Scutari and Bodek are longtime political allies, but their relationship didn’t get off to a rocky start.
In 1994, Scutari, 25, was elected to the Linden Board of Education in a run against Bodek. The vote leader was Scutari with 1,993 votes; Bodek finished fourth among five candidates for three seats with 1,633 votes.
But two months later, with the school board seat vacant, Scutari voted to appoint Bodek, who won 5-3.
He served as town clerk for seventeen years and was municipal chairman of the Linden Democratic Party and president of the Democratic Club.
“Chris Hudak has been an outstanding county commissioner and the county is fortunate to have him as the new surrogate. I am honored by the support I have received from Chairman Scutari, Vice Chairman Carter, Mayor Armstead and the entire Democratic Committee,” said Bodek. “I look forward to fighting for the taxpayers of Union County and advancing the county’s record of fiscal responsibility.”
Bodek, 66, is expected to run for a full three-year term in 2023. Republicans haven’t won a countywide race in Union since 1995.
His father was a battalion chief for the Jersey City Fire Department, and his mother held a Rosie Klepachka-type position at the General Motors plant in Linden during World War II.