Former Chatham Council Member, Assemblywoman and State Senator Leanna Brown Passes Away

Leanna Brown, former Chatham Council member, was the first Republican woman elected to the New Jersey State Senate. She died Thursday. Credits: Chatham Republican Committee

CHATHAM, NJ - Leanna Brown, the first Republican woman to gain election to the New Jersey State Senate, was remembered on Thursday night when her passing was announced at the regular meeting of the Chatham Township Committee.

"She was the standard bearer for women in politics," Karen Swartz, Chatham Township Committee member, said. "She was encouraging to me. She was a mentor and a friend. She was very involved with education of young people and was a Republican to her last breath. The county freeholders and Gov. Christie and have expressed their condolences to her family."

Committee member Karen Swartz speaks about longtime Chatham resident Leanna Brown's political career

Sign Up for E-News

A longtime resident of Chatham Borough, Brown served on the Borough of Chatham Council from 1969 through 1972; served as a state legislator in the 26th district in 1980 and 1981, and NJ State Senator from 1983 through 1993. 

"We are going to miss her a great deal," Swartz said. "We are a better community for having Leanna serving along with us. She was a great proponent of the Republican Club of the Chathams and a real standard bearer for public service. In a time where we see a lot of people in government and leadership positions for themselves, she truly was the embodiment of public servant. She did what she did for the betterment of the community."

Brown also was a Morris County Freeholder and served as the body's director in 1976. She also was the president of the New Jersey Association of Counties in 1978.

Morris County Freeholders Kathleen A. DeFillippo, Hank Lyon, Douglas R. Cabana, John Cesaro, Thomas J. Mastrangelo, Christine Myers, and Deborah Smith issued a statement on Brown's passing, which said, in part:

"Leanna Brown served with honor as a Chatham Councilwoman, Morris County Freeholder, member of the State Assembly, and as the first Republican woman elected to the New Jersey State Senate. She also served as a longtime member of the State Casino Control Commission. In 2001 she worked on President George W. Bush’s transition team and was later appointed by President Bush to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

"Leanna always showed a passion for the needs of county and state residents, working tirelessly on their behalf. She was a great backer of womens’ causes, and was a great friend and mentor to many women who sought to join the political and electoral process. She was the driving force behind the county’s creation of the Morris County Advisory Committee on Women."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Thu, July 19, 12:00 PM

Madison YMCA, Madison

Free Childhood Nutrition Seminar at the F.M.

Fri, August 10, 6:00 PM

Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison

Downtown Concert Series: Mama D & The Vexations

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, September 30, 8:00 AM

College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown

Walk to Fight Alzheimer's

Giving Back Health & Wellness

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, July 9 – Sunday, July 15, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend


Our summer program is in full swing.  This week we are starting some of our most popular children’s programs, Chess for Kids and sewing classes with Miss Polly.  Children will also enjoy a visit from a special guest, Queen Maria Isabella from Medieval Times.  Teens ...

Longtime Chatham Resident Passes the Torch to Current Residents

July 13, 2018

To the Editor,

I moved to Chatham from Ohio in 1961 and left just over a year or so ago. My daughters went through the school system and one of them still lives there with her son.

Clearly, we found the Library and local educational opportunities to our liking. 

When it came to giving back to the community, I chose to support the Library and served as a Board member for 15 ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Video: Point View's Petrides Talks Netflix's Cash Burn as Company Reports Earnings

July 16, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on discussing Netflix's earnings report and why the streaming service should dilute shareholders to plug its cash burn.

​​​​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...