Demellier, influential politico, dead at 68

Although not a familiar face to much of the general public, Harold Demellier Jr., who recently passed as the result of cardiac arrest, will be remembered as the man who kept Hudson County roads running.
At the time of his death Demellier was director of county roads and bridges for Hudson County. He has also served as a political advisor to top officials in Jersey City, Bayonne, West New York, and other towns over the years.
Demellier was meeting with an old friend in New York City when he reportedly collapsed.
Known by his closest friends as “Buddy,” Demellier was called “The General” for his ability to mobilize the county’s road department in moments of crisis, from Superstorm Sandy in 2012 to super snowstorms such as the one that struck the region last January.
“Although he was deeply involved in politics, Buddy loved his job with the county,” said former Bayonne Freeholder Neil Carroll. “He said it was the best job he ever had.”
During his long career in Hudson County as well as elsewhere, Demellier served stints as business administrator in West New York and in Bayonne.
But his significance was often felt behind the scenes as a master political tactician who started with the campaigns of Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann and later included Bayonne ,ayors Leonard Kiczek and Mark Smith. He was also instrumental in the successful campaigns of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, and County Executive Tom DeGise.
A Vietnam veteran, Demellier was extremely religious, but also had a flair for horse racing, and frequently traveled around the world to catch races with a group of other Hudson County regulars.

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group