Essex County News

Press Releases

Mayor Lester Taylor Hires Veteran Political Advisor Kellie Drakeford LeDet as New Chief of Staff


EAST ORANGE, NJ - Mayor Lester E. Taylor III is proud to welcome Kellie Drakeford LeDet, a veteran political advisor and former President Barack Obama appointee, to the Taylor Administration as his new Chief of Staff.

LeDet, who brings a wealth of experience as an astute thought leader, communicator and consensus builder, has been charged with the task of ensuring the transformational legacy created under Mayor Taylor’s leadership continues to set the standard for urban excellence during this “final” quarter of his mayoral term, which will end on December 31, 2017.

Appointed by President Obama in 2014 to serve as the U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator for Region II (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.  Virgin Islands), LeDet says the last six months of 2016 brought about a wide range of emotions for employees of the Obama Administration, but the former president consistently challenged his team to finish strong.

Sign Up for E-News

LeDet welcomed the opportunity to join Mayor Taylor’s team at this critical juncture because she believes that his commitment, loyalty and passion for the people of the City of East Orange is now greater than ever before.

“This is not just about building a legacy, this is about making sure that our employees are ready and prepared to carry out Mayor Taylor’s legacy after he is gone,” said LeDet. “Mayor Taylor always talks about being the city’s biggest cheerleader. Well, now I am the second biggest cheerleader and I am here to help in any way that I can.”

“I’ve known Kellie for a long time and I’ve always respected her business acumen and trailblazing accomplishments in government and the private sector. She has a proven track record as a leader, innovator, negotiator, change agent, advocate, and capacity builder,” said Mayor Taylor. “When I made the decision not to run for a second term, I did so for personal reasons, but my professional integrity, my demand for accountability and my expectation of high performance has not wavered. Timing is everything and Kellie is just the right person at just the right time to take my tenure as Mayor from good to great.”

Before joining SBA, LeDet served as Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Managing Director of Diversity, Small Business and Government Affairs at the New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation, Deputy State Director for U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ), and Deputy Chief of Management and Operations for Governor James McGreevey (D-NJ). She began her career in government under U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

LeDet attended Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA and majored in political science and mass communications with a concentration in public administration. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the New Jersey Association of Women-Owned Businesses “Woman of the Year” Award and the NAACP’s “Outstanding Community Service” Award, and New Jersey Institute of Social Justice’s “Small Business Advocate of the Year” Award.

LeDet is actively involved in numerous community and civic organizations and her life’s work is guided by her belief in the mission: “To whom much is given, much is required.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Livingston Students Make Their Voices Heard in National Walkout

March 15, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — In order to make their voices heard and prove that “age is no obstacle to activism,” hundreds of Livingston High School (LHS) students participated in the student-led National School Walkout on Wednesday morning. For 17 minutes, the students gathered on the blacktop near the turf to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting and to also take a stance on gun ...

Fair Lawn High School Students Walkout, Show Solidarity with Parkland, FL Victims

March 15, 2018

FAIR LAWN, NJ - Students walked out of class for 17 minutes to show solidarity with Parkland, FL students and teachers killed on Feb. 14.

Asking for tougher gun laws, students held signs in protest of a lack of government action, in addition to victims from other school shootings.

Glen Rock High School held a similar walkout in which the press was asked to stay away. Students in Glen Rock ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 17, 1:30 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Make Your Own Rain Barrel

Education Green

Sat, March 17, 8:00 PM

Upper Montclair

Comedy: Almost Maine

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 18, 8:30 AM

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge HQ, Sussex

NJ Audubon: Winter Raptors and Wildfowl: Wallkill ...


Montclair Police Blotter: Vehicles Struck by Falling Trees, Attempted Burglary to Gates Ave. Residences and More

March 15, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ- The following blotter was issued by the Montclair Police Department on  March 13, 2018. 

03-07- 2018 (Orange Road) Attempted burglary to a residence. The suspect was not successful in gaining
access to the residence. The suspect vehicle was described as a white Dodge Ram pickup truck.
03-10- 2018 (North Fullerton Avenue) Theft of delivered packages ...

Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc 50/50 Raffle

March 16, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc. (JLMN) has provided support and service to women and children in Bloomfield, The Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Montclair, Newark and Verona for more than 95 years.

Our trained, enthusiastic members are committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community ...