Spicuzzo fills council seat; will run Nov. 4

Son of county sheriff described as being ‘young, energetic’


SPOTSWOOD — Charles Spicuzzo has been chosen to fill the Borough Council seat formerly held by Thomas Barlow, who vacated the term when he took over as Spotswood’s mayor.

Spicuzzo, whose father Joseph is the longtime Middlesex County sheriff and county Democratic chairman, has strong ties to borough government. His father served as Spotswood’s mayor from 1976-80. Spicuzzo, 32, and a union electrician, said that through his father, he was exposed to politics at a very young age.

He said he decided to seek office because he has lived in Spotswood for all but two years of his life, and “wanted to give something back to the community.”

“I know his dad is very proud of him,” Councilwoman Marge Drozd said.

Barlow vacated the seat in July after being sworn in as mayor, succeeding Barry Zagnit, who served for 12 years. The borough received two applications for that seat, but the other resident candidate opted out.

Spicuzzo has a wife, Denise, and two children not yet of school age. As for what he’ll do on council, Spicuzzo said he agrees with Barlow and other councilmembers that improving Main Street is a priority. He said he wants to make Spotswood a more “homey” town, and would like to see DeVoe Lake cleaned up, something that borough officials have discussed for many years.

Spicuzzo has already indicated he will seek election Nov. 4 to fill out the remainder of the term. According to state law, the unexpired term vacated seat must be determined in the next election.

“I really enjoy working with him, he speaks what’s on his mind and he’s a breath of fresh air,” Drozd said.

Barlow joked that he and Spicuzzo have something in common, because they both were unopposed in seeking office.

“He’s young, he’s energetic, he has two young kids,” Barlow said. … “He’s been around politics his whole life as a result of his family.”

Barlow said Spicuzzo has already taken well to his liaison positions.

Drozd said one of the questions she had for Spicuzzo was whether he would run in November, and he said he would.

“I wanted to be sure he would continue,” she said.

The five-member, nonpartisan Borough Council’s membership has changed significantly in recent years. Council President Curt Stollen is the longest-serving member, having served since 1998. Ed Seely is next, having served since 2004. Drozd was elected to her first term in 2006, and John Shaughnessy started his first term in July.