(Trenton) -- John Currie, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, as well as the Passaic County Democratic Committee, issued the following statement after the passing of his friend and mentor Philip Thigpen, Chairman of the Essex County Democratic Committee:
"Today, New Jersey Democrats, and me personally, have lost a dear friend and ally, Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Phil Thigpen. News of his passing is a shock to us all, and we send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Thigpen family," Chairman Currie said. "The organization that Chairman Thigpen built is a battleship in our Democratic fleet. He was a true champion for middle-class families, and a New Jersey where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive. With just a week until Election Day, Democrats in Essex County and around the state will press toward victory with him at the forefront of our minds, fighting for the causes he believed so deeply in his entire life."
Chairman Thigpen was responsible for coordinating election-related activities in Essex County's 22 municipalities. He was elected in 2001 and reelected three times. He served in elected office as an Essex County Freeholder and as a City Councilman in East Orange, New Jersey. And he worked as director of the Essex County Department of Planning and Economic Development where he oversaw the development and implementation of fiscal and administrative policy in issues such as economic and physical planning and solid waste disposal.
From 1980 to 1987, Mr. Thigpen was Vice President of Urban Data Systems, Inc., of Newark, New Jersey, a computer forms manufacturer. Prior to joining Urban Data Systems, Inc, Mr. Thigpen was Executive Vice President of Leon N. Weiner & Associates, Inc., a real estate development firm based in Wilmington, Delaware. Mr. Thigpen ran a joint venture with Campbell Soup and RCA to develop low and moderate – income multifamily properties in other locations in the east and Midwest. He was a member of the National Association of Homebuilders and Chairman of its Affirmative Action Committee.
A graduate of Seton Hall University, Mr. Thigpen received a B.S. degree in Business Administration. He also received an M.A. from St. Louis University in St. Louis Missouri, and was an Urban Fellow at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
For his athletic prowess running track, Mr. Thigpen became a member of the Seton Hall Prep Athletic Hall of Fame and Seton Hall University Athletic Hall of Fame.