John Alati, Former Essex Freeholder, Dies At 73

Jan 16, 2021 503

BY: David Wildstein

John M. Alati, a popular former Essex County freeholder who was one of the most influential people in county politics in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, died on January 15.  He was 73. He was elected freeholder in 1984, representing the East Orange/Irvington District 3 seat.   He defeated incumbent Corrina Kay, who had lost party support for re-election to a second term, by a nearly 3,000 votes, a 57%-43% margin.

He easily defeated Republican Carl Jackson in the general election. Alati resigned from the freeholder board in 1987 to become the chief of staff to County Executive Nicholas R. Amato.  His successor was LeRoy Jones, now the Essex County Democratic Chairman. Amato had been the Democratic surrogate for fifteen years before switching parties and unseating Peter Shapiro in 1986.

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