Norcross tells Politico he’s leaving political scene

Longtime South Jersey power broker, still smarting from ‘devastating’ loss by Sweeney, others, tells site it’s time for others to lead

George Norcross, the South Jersey political powerbroker often described as the second-most powerful man in the state — behind whoever is governor — told Politico in an exclusive interview that ran Monday morning that he is leaving politics.

Norcross, 67, spends much of his time in Florida (where he is an official resident) and has various business interests (he is the executive chairman of insurance firm Conner Strong & Buckelew, chairman of Cooper University Health Care and connected to so much of Camden).

He told Politico, however, that it was the stunning defeat of his longtime friend, former state Senate President Steve Sweeney, combined with the loss of numerous General Assembly candidates, that “involuntarily pushed” him to a different place.

“We had a great run for almost 25 years,” he told Politico. “And now it’s time for others to lead the party.”

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Too often in journalism, we do not credit our colleagues for scoops. We do at ROI-NJ. Politico’s Dustin Racioppi broke this story. Read his full report here (no paywall).

Norcross told Politico that LeRoy Jones, chair of the Democratic State Committee and Essex County Democratic Committee, and Kevin McCabe, chair of the Middlesex County Democratic Committee, are “without a doubt” the leaders of the party.

Norcross told Politico that he would support Sweeney, should he run for governor in 2025, but he apparently has less interest in other races.

“When you’ve been doing this for so many years like I have, and you have this kind of devastating loss — there’s no other way to describe it — you find yourself probably a little less enthused,” he said.