Q&A with The IBEW’s Power Player Rep. Donald Norcross of New Jersey –
Most IBEW members are more familiar working with the kind of power that flows through wires than the kind of power that moves through the marble halls of the Capitol.
But as the Electrical Workers’ recent series about members in elected office shows, the IBEW is a crucial part of raising the voice of working families.
One of the most successful and highest-profile trade unionists in politics today is one of our own, U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, a journeyman inside wireman from Folsom, N.J., Local 351 since 1983.
Norcross was elected in a special election last fall to replace the incumbent who had retired before his term ended. Norcross — then a state senator from the Camden area, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia — won the election, and unlike most newly elected representatives, he went straight to Washington to finish the remainder of his predecessor’s term. It gave Norcross a few months seniority over the rest of the incoming freshman class but it also meant that, for a month, he was simultaneously a member of Congress and a business agent for Local 351.
The Electrical Worker sat down with Norcross in July in his office in a House office building south of the Capitol.