Nelida "Nellie" Pou (born May 20, 1956[1][2]) is an American Democratic Party politician who has served in the New Jersey Senate since 2012, representing the 35th Legislative District. She previously represented the 35th district in the General Assembly. When Pou was sworn into the Assembly on January 29, 1997, to succeed Bill Pascrell, she became the first woman and the first Hispanic to represent the 35th district.[3]

Nellie Pou
Nellie Pou 2012.jpg
Pou in 2012
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 35th district
Assumed office
January 10, 2012
Preceded byJohn Girgenti
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 35th district
In office
January 29, 1997 – January 10, 2012
Preceded byBill Pascrell
Succeeded byShavonda E. Sumter
Benjie Wimberly
Personal details
Born (1956-05-20) May 20, 1956 (age 63)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Richard Freid
ResidenceNorth Haledon, New Jersey[1]
Alma materKean College
Rutgers University
University of Virginia
OccupationAssistant Business Administrator, City of Paterson
WebsiteLegislative biography site



Pou attended Kean College, Rutgers University and the University of Virginia (Business Administration). She is an Assistant Business Administrator in Paterson.[2]

She was appointed to a vacant Assembly seat on January 29, 1997 to succeed Bill Pascrell who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.[4] Pou was the Assembly's Deputy Speaker from 2002–2005 and the Assistant Minority Leader from 2000–2001.[2]

In the Assembly Pou served on the Appropriations Committee (as Chair), the Budget Committee, the Education Committee and the Joint Budget Oversight Committee.[2] Previously, Pou served on the Senior Issues Committee (as Chair), the Appropriations Committee (as Vice Chair) and the Education Committee. She has served on the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect since 1997 and was Chair of the Paterson Department of Human Resources from 1983–1997. She served on the Passaic-Bergen County HIV Health Services Advisory Council from 1993–1997.[2]

Pou elected not to run for re-election to her Assembly seat in 2011, instead choosing to run for the State Senate seat from the district that long-time incumbent John Girgenti was vacating. She defeated former Haledon, New Jersey mayor Ken Pengitore in the general election and was sworn in as Senator in January 2012.[5] In the Senate, she is Vice Chair of the Higher Education and also serves on the Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunities, Budget and Appropriations Committee, and the Judiciary Committee.

District 35Edit

Each of the forty districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 35th district for the 2014–2015 Legislative Session are:[6]

Election historyEdit

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nellie Pou (incumbent) 22,154 74.1
Republican Lynda Gallashaw 7,737 25.9
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nellie Pou 14,386 74.7
Republican Ken Pengitore 4,867 25.3
Democratic hold


  1. ^ a b Clunn, Nick. "GOP faults Dems on Paterson ties in 35th District", The Record (Bergen County), October 26, 2011. Accessed September 11, 2015. "Nellie Pou (D); Age: 55; Hometown: North Haledon"
  2. ^ a b c d e Senator Pou's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 20, 2012.
  3. ^ "Pou to Take Assembly Oath as First Woman, First Hispanic to Represent the 35th District", The Italian Voice, February 13, 1997. Accessed April 7, 2008. "Nellie Pou took the oath of office Wednesday January 29th for the 35th District Assembly seat vacated by William J. Pascrell Jr., who was elected to Congress in November. Pou is the first woman and the first Hispanic to represent the 35th District in the Legislature."
  4. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey - Two Hundred and Eleventh Legislature (First Session) (PDF). Skinder-Strauss Associates. 2004. pp. 289–290. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed January 22, 2012.
  6. ^ Legislative Roster 2014-2015 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed September 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2015 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2015.

External linksEdit

New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
John Girgenti
Member of the New Jersey Senate for the 35th District
January 10, 2012 – present
Succeeded by
New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Bill Pascrell
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 35th District
January 11, 1994 – January 10, 2012
With: Alfred E. Steele, Elease Evans
Succeeded by
Shavonda E. Sumter
Benjie Wimberly