James P. Dugan, a Bayonne native, is a graduate of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City; the University of Missouri; and Fordham University School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in New York in 1957 and in New Jersey in 1959. A veteran of the Marine Corps, he served as a rifle platoon commander and was wounded in action in the Korean War, later honorably discharged with the rank of captain. In 1960, he was elected to the Bayonne Charter Commission and served as that body’s chairman. In 1966, he was elected as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention which reapportioned the New Jersey Legislature. After serving in the General Assembly in its 1970-71 term, he was elected to the State Senate in 1971 and later chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee for four years. He was named chair of the Democratic State Committee in June 1973 during the Brendan Byrne gubernatorial campaign and was a member of the Democratic National Committee and the National Democratic Finance Committee. During his tenure in the Legislature, he sponsored or guided into law a number of significant pieces of legislation, including the Casino Control Act, development of the New Jersey Sports Complex, and major tax and education reform programs. He currently practices law with the firm of Waters, McPherson, McNeill based in Secaucus.
Interview on February 27, 2008
Interview on April 20, 2009