After graduating from Seton Hall University and later its Law School in 1970, Cary Edwards began his career in private legal practice, eventually specializing in representing local governments and government agencies such as school boards and planning boards. In 1974, after moving to Oakland with his wife, the former Lynn Cozziello, he was elected a borough councilman and later council president for the municipality. In 1977, he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, where he would serve three terms and be named assistant minority leader.
In 1981, he played a key role in the Thomas Kean gubernatorial campaign and following Kean’s victory was selected by the incoming governor to be his chief counsel, coordinating the Administration’s legislative program and overseeing budget and fiscal issues. With the Governor’s re-election in 1986, Edwards was named Attorney General. During his tenure as Attorney General, he initiated a new anti-drug program; instituted a task force to combat organized crime; and restructured the Division of Motor Vehicles; and strengthened enforcement programs to combat insurance fraud.
After resigning from the Kean Cabinet, Edwards ran to succeed Kean as governor in the 1989 election, losing to Congressman James Courter in the Republican primary. He ran again in 1993, losing the Republican nomination to Christine Todd Whitman, who went on to win the general election. In 1997 Whitman named Edwards to the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation, and in 2004 Governor Richard Codey appointed him chairman of the commission. He currently also is of counsel to the law firm of Waters, McPherson, McNeill, P.C., based in Secaucus. He has served as an adjunct faculty member of Seton Hall University and the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and on the boards of corporations and several non-profit organizations.
Interview on December 22, 2008 – Transcript available here (pdf)
Interview on January 27, 2009 – Transcript available here (pdf)