Anthony M. Villane

Anthony M. Villane, Jr. (born December 24, 1929) is an American dentist and Republican Party politician who was elected to serve seven terms in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1976 to 1988, and served as head of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs from 1988 to 1990, when he was named as regional administrator of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Anthony M. Villane, Jr.
Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
In office
October 26, 1988 – January 16, 1990
Acting: July 7, 1988 – October 26, 1988
GovernorThomas Kean
Preceded byLeonard S. Coleman Jr.
Succeeded byRandy Primas
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 11th district
In office
January 6, 1982 – July 11, 1988
Serving with Joseph A. Palaia
Preceded byJohn O. Bennett and Marie Sheehan Muhler
Succeeded byJohn Villapiano
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 10th district
In office
January 6, 1976 – January 5, 1982
Preceded byGertrude Berman and William P. Fitzpatrick
Succeeded byJohn Paul Doyle and Warren Wolf
Personal details
Born (1929-12-24) December 24, 1929 (age 91)
Newark, New Jersey
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Sarah Belverio (June 1953)
ResidenceLong Branch, New Jersey
Alma materRutgers University
Temple University

Early life and educationEdit

Villane was born in Newark, New Jersey on December 24, 1929. He attended the Newark Public Schools and graduated from Barringer High School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in 1951 and received a degree in dentistry in 1955 from Temple University. He served in the United States Air Force from 1955 to 1958 with the rank of captain, after which he maintained a dental practice in Eatontown.[1]

In 1971, Villane was chosen to chair the Long Branch Republican Party, a position he filled until 1977.[1]

Government serviceEdit

From 1975 to 1977, Villane served as a trustee of the board of education of the Long Branch Public Schools.[1]

A resident of Long Branch, New Jersey, Villane and his Republican running mate Brian Kennedy defeated Democratic incumbent Gertrude Berman and her running mate Richard J. Connors in the November 1975 general election, to win the two Assembly seats in the 10th Legislative District, covering portions of Monmouth County and Ocean County.[2] Kennedy shifted to the New Jersey Senate, and Villane was re-elected to the Assembly in the 10th District in 1977 and 1979 with William F. Dowd.

In redistricting following the 1980 United States Census, Villane was shifted to the 11th Legislative District. In the general elections in 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1987, Villane was re-elected with Republican running mate Joseph A. Palaia. From 1985 to 1988, Villane served as head of the Assembly's Appropriations Committee, where he was successful in delivering aid to communities in Monmouth County.[3] In December 1980. Governor of New Jersey Brendan Byrne signed into law a bill sponsored by Villane that specified a jail sentence of up to six months for those who "recklessly organizes" a hazing ritual that seriously injures a pledge as part of initiation practices.[4] As chairman of the Assembly's Select Committee on Tourism, Villane was the chief sponsor of the Fair Beaches Act in 1987, which would ensure that shore municipalities would be required to receive state approval for beach access fees, some of which are the country's highest charges.[5] In an effort to prevent the dumping of garbage and medical waste that had washed ashore in New Jersey, leading to a drop in tourism, Villane and Assembly Speaker Chuck Hardwick co-sponsored a bill that passed the Assembly in February 1988 by a 72–1 margin allocating $1.5 million to be used to fund a blimp that would search for illegal ocean dumping along the Jersey Shore during the summer months.[6] Cameras on the airship would identify those dumping waste off the coast and a telephone number printed on the blimp's side would allow residents to call in tips.[6] Despite what he described as a "giggle factor" in using a blimp, Villane advocated for the use of an airship as a more visible surveillance tool that could loiter for extended periods of time and use far less fuel than fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters.[7]

Following the death of Representative James J. Howard, Villane lost the June 1988 primary to Joseph Azzolina to fill the seat in New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District.[3]

Villane gave up his dental practice and resigned from office on July 11, 1988, after being confirmed to serve as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to succeed Leonard S. Coleman, Jr. in the cabinet of Governor of New Jersey Thomas H. Kean; as part of the $95,000-a-year job, Villane oversaw a department with 1,000 employees that administered a budget of $400 million.[3] Democrat John Villapiano defeated Villane's son Thomas in a September 15, 1988, special election to fill the vacant seat, and was sworn into office on September 28, 1988, cutting the Republican majority in the Assembly to 41–39.[8][9] Villane served until January 1990, and was succeeded by Randy Primas, who became DCA commissioner after serving nine years as Mayor of Camden, New Jersey.[10]

In January 1990, Villane was named to serve as the New York / New Jersey regional administrator of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to succeed Joseph Monticciolo.[11] He was the first New Jersey resident to hold the position.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Staff. Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, Volume 202, Part 2, p. 251. E. J. Mullin, 1987. Accessed September 1, 2016.
  2. ^ Results of the General Election Held November 4, 1975, p. 3. New Jersey Department of State. Accessed September 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Ben-Joseph, Robin. "Kean nominates Villane to Cabinet" Archived 2013-09-24 at the Wayback Machine, Red Bank Register, July 8, 1988. Accessed September 1, 2016.
  4. ^ via Associated Press. "Hazing pranks now could bring jail term", Star-News, December 19, 1980. Accessed September 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. "On the Boardwalk: Panel Considers Access to Jersey Beaches", The New York Times, July 28, 1987. Accessed September 1, 2016. "Today's hearing focused on a proposed Fair Beaches Act that would require shore towns to submit for state approval their beach fees and plans for tourist services and public access.... Assemblyman Anthony M. Villane, Republican of Long Branch, is the chairman of the Select Committee on Tourism that conducted the hearing, and also a chief sponsor of the Fair Beaches Act."
  6. ^ a b Hollman, Laurie. "A Blimp For Shore Patrol Gets Vote Of N.j. Assembly", The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 19, 1988. Accessed September 1, 2016. "This summer, the supercop that patrols the Jersey shore on the lookout for bad guys, or in this case, illegal ocean dumpers, could be a blimp.That is, if Assemblyman Anthony M. Villane Jr. (R., Monmouth County) and Assembly Speaker Chuck Hardwick (R., Union) get their way. Their bill establishing 'eye in the sky' surveillance this summer to monitor the New York Bight and the New Jersey coast by airship passed the Assembly yesterday by a 72–1 vote."
  7. ^ Villane Jr., Anthiny M. "NEW JERSEY OPINION; Using a Blimp for Pollution Control: No Reason to Giggle", The New York Times, March 5, 1989. Accessed September 1, 2016. "When I was an Assemblyman, I introduced an Assembly bill that would provide for aerial enforcement of anti-pollution laws along the state's coastline using similar technology: a blimp. I introduced the bill in response to the recurring incidences of water-borne pollution and debris fouling our beaches.... But I recognized that neutralizing the 'giggle factor' and convincing people it would indeed work would encounter some difficulty."
  8. ^ via Associated Press. "G.O.P. Assembly Edge Shrinks", The New York Times, September 30, 1988. Accessed September 1, 2016. "The Republican advantage in the Assembly narrowed to two today, when John Villapiano was sworn in to succeed Anthony Villane, who joined the Kean administration. Mr. Villapiano, 36 years old, won a special election Sept. 15 to represent the 11th District in Monmouth County."
  9. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. "Two House Races Drawing Notice", The New York Times, October 9, 1988. Accessed September 1, 2016. "Mr. Pallone sees a good omen in last month's victory by John Villapiano, a Democrat, in a special State Assembly election to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of the Republican legislator, Anthony M. Villane of Long Branch, who became the new State Commissioner of Community Affairs. Mr. Villapiano defeated Thomas Villane, the former lawmaker's son."
  10. ^ Gonzales, Patrisia. "Primas Job May Go To Thompson Council Makes Its Pick Today", The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 17, 1990. Accessed September 1, 2016. "Primas succeeds Anthony M. Villane Jr. of Monmouth County, who headed the agency since July 1988 after six terms in the General Assembly."
  11. ^ via Associated Press. "New Jersey Official Named To Regional Office of H.U.D.", The New York Times, January 14, 1990. Accessed September 1, 2016. "A new head of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's New York-New Jersey regional office was named by Housing Secretary Jack F. Kemp yesterday. Anthony Villane, 60 years old, New Jersey's Community Affairs Commissioner, will succeed the acting regional Administrator, Joseph Lynch."
  12. ^ Staff "Villane Goes to HUD; Michaels To Direct State GOP", New Jersey Reporter, June–July 1990. Accessed September 1, 2016.