As he was known for serving at different levels of government during his lifetime, New Jersey Senator Anthony “Tony” Bucco, R-25th Dist., is being remembered for his 41 years of service by those at all levels of government and on both sides of the aisle, following his passing on Monday.

Bucco, 81, died at Saint Claire’s Hospital in Denville on Monday night of a heart attack, according to a statement released from Michael DuHaime, a spokesperson for his family.

According to his bio, Bucco’s political career began in 1978 when he started serving in the Town of Boonton on the Board of Aldermen. In 1984, Bucco became the town’s mayor, before transitioning to the Morris County Board of Freeholders in 1989, where he served until 1992. In 1995, he started his state career as an assemblyman and served as the assistant majority whip. He became a senator in 1998, serving in that role until his death. While with the Senate, he was the assistant majority leader, co-Republican majority leader, assistant minority leader, deputy minority leader, Republican budget officer; and started in 2019 as the Republican conference leader.

In the 25th Legislative District, Bucco served with his son, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco; and Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, both R-25th Dist.

“Our thoughts and our prayers go to the Bucco family on the passing of Senator Anthony Bucco Sr.,” said Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Parker Space, R-24th Dist. on Tuesday. “He served the people of Morris County and all of New Jersey with strength and vigor. He was a passionate supporter of Lake Hopatcong in particular and funding of the Lake Hopatcong Commission will be one of his lasting legacies.”

Byram Township Councilman Scott Olson took to Twitter on Monday night, stating while he did not share Bucco’s philosophies, he deeply respected Bucco’s dedication as a public servant.

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11th Dist., said Tuesday afternoon, “Senator Bucco dedicated his life to serving the people of New Jersey. From Boonton to the State Senate, he worked to improve the lives of our residents in North Jersey. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather and my heart goes out to the entire Bucco family at this difficult time.”

On Tuesday morning, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-3rd Dist., tweeted that Bucco’s “absence in the Senate Chambers will be felt by all.”

Both New Jersey’s former and current governors also remembered Bucco.

Former Gov. Chris Christie on his official Twitter account, said he has been friends with Bucco for 25 years and called him a “tough and effective Mayor, Freeholder, Assemblyman and Senator for the people of New Jersey.”

Gov. Phil Murphy, who is traveling in India for a trip to develop economic relationships between the country and New Jersey, remembered Bucco in a statement released on Monday night; and said he proudly signed one of Bucco’s bills two months ago that empowers school-aged children to prevent and escape sexual abuse.

“A dedicated public servant and successful businessman, Senator Bucco brought a perspective and commitment to his work that elevated our public discourse,” said Murphy.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver on social media Tuesday afternoon said Bucco had a deep involvement in the community and a strong commitment to public service and family throughout his life.

“With his 41 years of service in state and local government, he used his ability to work across the aisle to advocate for the residents of Morris County,” Oliver said. “He was a true statesman and served with dignity and honor.”

Jennifer Jean Miller can also be reached by phone at: 973-383-1230; and on Facebook: