Essex County Democratic Committee, Inc. | Beatae Memoriae
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Beatae Memoriae

PhilThigpenPhilip Thigpen was Chairman of the Essex County, New Jersey Democratic Committee from 2001 to 2013. His duties included coordinating elections and Democratic Party-related activities in the 22 municipalities of Essex County;  selecting candidates to run for county and state elective offices; and managing the Committee’s budget and fundraising activities. He held this position commencing in 2001 and was elected to serve 3 times.

Mr. Thigpen had also been an elected official, serving as an Essex County Freeholder and as a City Councilman in East Orange, New Jersey.  He held the position of director of the Essex County Department of Planning and Economic Development with the overall responsibility for the development and implementation of fiscal and administrative policy, in issues such as economic and physical planning as well as solid waste disposal.

In 2009, Mr. Thigpen was elected to the office of Register of Deeds and Mortgages in Essex County.

From 1980 to 1987, Mr. Thigpen was Vice President of Urban Data Systems, Inc., in Newark, New Jersey, a computer forms manufacturer.  His responsibilities included sales and acquisition of raw materials related to the production of computer forms.

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 several locations in the east and midwest. He held membership in the National Association of Homebuilders and was chairman of its Affirmative Action Committee.

A graduate of Seton Hall Prep, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Seton Hall University. He later received a Master of Arts from St. Louis University in St. Louis Missouri, and was an Urban Fellow at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

During high school, Mr. Thigpen was a two-time National champion in the 880 yard run.  At Seton Hall University, he was National Champion in the half–mile and also three–time National AAU Champion in the 1000-yard run.  He was inducted into the Seton Hall Prep Athletic Hall of Fame and the Seton Hall University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Additional service included:

  • Member of the Electoral College in the presidential election of 1996
  • President of the Electoral College in the presidential election of 2012
  • Appointment to the New Jersey Health Care Administration Board by the governor of New Jersey
  • Lifetime member of the NAACP
  • Member of the 2012 Congressional Redistricting Commission
  • Member of the NJ State Democratic Committee
  • Member of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
  • Member East Orange City Council
  • Essex County Democratic Advisory Board
  • East Orange Democratic City Chairman
  • East Orange Water Commission
  • Member East Orange City Council
  • Former Vice President of the Seton Hall Alumni Association

Mr. Thigpen and his wife Ernestine nee Blount are proud parents of three adult 3 sons and four granddaughters.