Meet Brendan Gill




"All my life, I've learned what makes Essex County's towns unique and what they have in common. To meet today's challenges, it's going take someone who knows our communities, people and government at all levels to work for Essex County residents as their freeholder."


Born in Belleville, raised in Montclair, and a former resident of Bloomfield, Brendan Gill has spent his entire life in Essex County. A product of the Montclair Public Schools and Seton Hall University, Brendan’s career in public service began in the office of Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., where he helped project a strong voice in the nation’s capitol on behalf of Essex and Passaic County residents.  Brendan has since held top posts in various state and federal offices, including time served as district director for former congressman Steve Rothman and as spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Transportation. From 2007 to 2013, Brendan served as a senior advisor to the late U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, first managing Sen. Lautenberg’s historic fifth reelection campaign and then overseeing all statewide operations for the senate office, focusing on issues that affected New Jerseyans from all 21 counties. In 2014, Brendan ushered U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker’s reelection campaign to an historic 14-point victory serving as campaign manager, and later served as a senior advisor to Senator Booker.

In January 2015, Brendan launched BGill Group, a full service public affairs company that specializes in Political Consulting, Digital Media, Strategic Communications, Media Relations, Advocacy and Government Affairs, where he serves as President and CEO.

Outside of his work life, Freeholder Gill keeps close ties to his alma maters as a member of the Montclair All Class Reunion, and as a frequent attendee at Seton Hall Pirates home basketball games in downtown Newark.  In addition, Brendan has been an active member of the Irish-American community, having been honored as the 2014 Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal.  Brendan is also a member of the Essex Running Club, Mercier Club of Northern New Jersey, The 100 Club of Montclair, NJ Bike & Walk Coalition, Weequahic Sports Authority, and the NAACP.

Brendan has received accolades and recognition from several publications and organizations across New Jersey, including being named to the Irish Echo 40 Under 40 list (2010), PolitickerNJ Operative of the Year (2008) and the PolitickerNJ Power List for three consecutive years.  In 2013, Brendan was recognized as a Rising Star in the Asbury Park Press, and was honored by the New Jersey Department of Transportation for his leadership on roadway safety issues by introducing and implementing New Jersey’s first countywide Complete Streets policy. Blue Wave NJ honored Brendan as recipient of the Public Service Award (2012). Brendan is a regular guest commentator on numerous television programs, including: NJTV’s political roundtable, My9 NJ Now and Chasing New Jersey, and News 12 NJ Power and Politics.

Brendan and his wife Alixon, along with their two children Gabriel and Kristen Leah, live in Montclair, where he is a parishioner of and active member in the Church of the Immaculate Conception.  Brendan also chairs the Montclair Democratic Party and formerly served on the township Planning Board.

Since taking office, Brendan Gill has:

  • Passed New Jersey’s county ‘Complete Streets’ policy, which enhances Essex County’s transportation infrastructure master plan and beneficially impacts the county’s favorability as a transportation grant prospect.
  • Voted to approve over $10 million in Community Development and Community Service Block Grants to organizations across the fifth freeholder district, which supports initiatives in areas including: a renovated track and field facility in Belleville, drug and alcoholism deterrence, after-school programs, and support for agencies that assist low-income residents in various communities.
  • Announced the first $1.5 million in Superstorm Sandy relief funding, which was delivered to Essex County through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.)
  • Was the lead sponsor of the Essex County resolution calling on the New Jersey legislature to end state-sanctioned marriage discrimination against same-sex couples, and voted to create and appoint members to the first ever Essex County LGBTQ Advisory Board.
  • Sponsored and passed a resolution prioritizing the enforcement of state anti-idling laws to promote a smog-free environment and preserve a high standard of air quality for Essex County residents.
  • Voted to approve over $3 million in bridge rehabilitation projects that directly benefited aging infrastructure in Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, and Nutley.
  • Promoted safe streets by calling on the office of the Essex County Prosecutor to work with the state Attorney General to bring the gun-buyback program back to Essex County towns, including Montclair.
  • Worked to renovate and beautify the county-owned section of Glendale Cemetery in Bloomfield to prove a fitting resting place for the U.S. military veterans who are interred there and to provide an area to host future memorial services and commemorations.
  • Worked with park conservancy groups to ensure that irrigation systems are maintained at Brookdale Park, add new lighting systems, renovate the Glenfield Park House, and ensure that parks across the fifth freeholder district are appropriately taken care of.
  • Introduced the first ordinance of its kind in Essex County to promote transparency and ensure best practices in the county’s health insurance contracting processes as various arrangements are renegotiated and changed.






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Brendan Gill Freeholder