The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey and is named after Reverend John W. Woodbridge (1613–1691) of Newbury, Massachusetts, who settled in the early autumn of 1664 and was granted a royal charter on June 1, 1669, by King Charles II of England. It was reincorporated on October 31, 1693. Woodbridge Township was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as part of the initial group of 104 townships incorporated in the state under the Township Act. Portions of the township were taken to form Rahway (April 19, 1858), Raritan Township (March 17, 1870, now Edison Township) and Roosevelt (April 11, 1906, now Carteret).
There were 34,615 households of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.2% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the township, 21.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $79,277 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,537) and the median family income was $88,656 (+/- $2,537). Males had a median income of $60,139 (+/- $1,971) versus $46,078 (+/- $1,635) for females. The per capita income for the township was $32,144 (+/- $717). About 3.8% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
There were 34,562 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the township the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 34.8% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.0 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $60,683, and the median income for a family was $68,492. Males had a median income of $49,248 versus $35,096 for females. The per capita income for the township was $25,087. About 3.2% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
Woodbridge is governed under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government. The Township Council is the legislative body of Woodbridge Township.
The Mayor of Woodbridge Township is John E. McCormac, who was first elected on November 7, 2006 and sworn in on November 14, 2006. McCormac replaced Frank G. Pelzman, who became mayor on January 17, 2002 when former Mayor James E. McGreevey resigned to become governor. Mayor is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
As of 2013[update], members of the Township Council are Council President Charles Kenny (First Ward), Council Vice President Kyle Anderson (at-large), James V. Carroll (at-large), Michele Charmello (Third Ward), Richard A. Dalina (Second Ward), Gregg M. Ficarra (at-large), Robert G. Luban (Fifth Ward), James Major (Fourth Ward) and Brenda Yori Velasco (at-large).
Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director. As of 2014[update], Middlesex County's Freeholders (with committee chairmanship, party affiliation, residence and term-end year listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios (Ex-officio on all committees - D, term ends December 31, 2015; Carteret), Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Barrett Bellante (County Administration - D, 2014; Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick Township), Kenneth Armwood (Business Development and Education - D, 2016; Piscataway), Charles Kenny (Finance - D, 2016; Woodbridge Township), H. James Polos (Public Safety and Health - D, 2015; Highland Park), Charles E. Tomaro (Infrastructure Management - D, 2014; Edison) and Blanquita B. Valenti (Community Services - D, 2016; New Brunswick). Constitutional officers are County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (D; Old Bridge Township), Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2016; Piscataway) and Surrogate Kevin J. Hoagland (D, 2017; New Brunswick).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 54,674 registered voters in Woodbridge Township, of which 20,900 (38.2%) were registered as Democrats, 6,135 (11.2%) were registered as Republicans and 27,611 (50.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 28 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 55.9% of the vote here (21,590 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 42.0% (16,251 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (472 votes), among the 38,657 ballots cast by the township's 55,075 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.2%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 53.5% of the vote here (19,662 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 45.1% (16,589 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (367 votes), among the 36,770 ballots cast by the township's 51,913 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 70.8.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 50.1% of the vote here (11,987 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 41.9% (10,029 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 7.2% (1,710 votes) and other candidates with 1.1% (261 votes), among the 23,913 ballots cast by the township's 53,843 registered voters, yielding a 44.4% turnout.
East Jersey State Prison is a male prison facility in Woodbridge Township, on the border of Rahway. However, the mailing address is in Rahway and the facility was known until 1988 as Rahway State Prison, leading many to believe the facility was located there.
J. J. Bitting Brewing Co., established in 1997, was the first brewery to operate in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, since the repeal of prohibition in 1933. The three-story restaurant resides in a restored 100-year-old brick building that once housed the J. J. Bitting Coal and Feed Depot that serviced the farming community of Woodbridge.
Woodbridge Community Center- a YMCA approved Community Center that has a gym, a pool, community rooms, a playground, and also has "The Arenas", which have a roller skating rink with arcade and an ice skating rink, home to the Special Hockey International Team, the Woodbridge Warriors (formerly the Wolfpack). The Warriors have their practices and home games at the ice rink and also host the annual ASHA (American Special Hockey Association) Special Needs Hockey Day Camp in the summer for all SHI teams.
Notable current and former residents of Woodbridge Township include:
^Coffin, Joshua. A Sketch of the History of Newbury, Newburyport and West Newbury, S.G.Drake, Boston, 1845. p.70
^Dally, Joseph W. (1989). Woodbridge and Vicinity. p. 44.
^Leonard, O. B. (1930). THE DUNHAM FAMILY (pp. 194-196), in Monnette, Orra Eugene (Eds.) FIRST SETTLERS of YE PLANTATIONS of PISCATAWAY and WOODBRIDGE, OLDE EAST NEW JERSEY, 1664-1714. The Leroy Carman Press, Los Angeles, CA.
^Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 248, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed July 23, 2013. "Woodbridge is on the northeastern end of the county and contained in 1850, 5,141 inhabitants; and in 1870, 3,717. It is about ten miles long and nine miles in breadth. Uniontown and Woodbridge are in this township. The town of Woodbridge was first settled by emigrants from England who came over in 1665 with Governor Carteret. It was at one time a prominent place in the province." No population is listed in 1860.
^Nutt, Amy Ellis (October 31, 2013). "Booker is officially a U.S. senator after being sworn in". NJ.com/Associated Press. Accessed October 31, 2013. "Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker was sworn in as a Democratic senator from New Jersey today, taking the oath of office, exchanging hugs with Vice President Joe Biden and acknowledging the applause of friends and family members seated in the visitor's gallery that rings the chamber.... Booker, 44, was elected to fill out the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year."
^Capuzzo, Jill. "Changes to Cheer About. Really.", The New York Times, May 6, 2007. Accessed September 4, 2011. "To begin with, Rahway State Prison was renamed East Jersey State Prison 19 years ago. Then there is the fact that the prison is actually in Woodbridge, not Rahway. An arrangement made long ago between the Rahway post office and prison officials has trapped this Union County city in an embrace it has had a hard time loosening."
^Martin, Douglas. "Dith Pran, Photojournalist and Survivor of the Killing Fields, Dies at 65", The New York Times, March 31, 2008. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Dith Pran, a photojournalist for The New York Times whose gruesome ordeal in the killing fields of Cambodia was re-created in a 1984 movie that gave him an eminence he tenaciously used to press for his people’s rights, died on Sunday at a hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. He was 65 and lived in Woodbridge, N.J."
^Tom Higgins, database Football. Accessed November 14, 2007.
^INTERVIEW WITH JACK H. JACOBS, Rutgers University, November 20, 2000. Accessed July 11, 2008. "JJ: ... Anyway, we moved to New Jersey in the mid-'50s, and my parents still live in the same house in Woodbridge. I went to Woodbridge High School, and then, from there, I went to Rutgers."
^Garber, Greg. "Doctors: Wrestler had brain damage", ESPN The Magazine, December 9, 2009. Accessed March 20, 2012. "Dawn Marie, sitting in her Woodbridge, N.J., home, sounds like she is crying. With the help of a reporter, she is calculating the 'bumps' -- the euphemism wrestlers use to describe each choreographed fall -- to the head she took in five years of active professional wrestling."
^Falkenstein, Michelle. "Around the Scene, a Whirl of Change", The New York Times, December 31, 2006. Accessed September 30, 2007. "Bruce Springsteen, who grew up in Freehold, served up the critically acclaimed "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" in April, and the singer Jon Bon Jovi, who was raised in Sayreville, and his band's guitarist Richie Sambora, from Woodbridge, will be immortalized as action figures next July by McFarlane Toys, it was announced in October."
^LaGorce, Tammy. "IN PERSON; Gotcha! Stay Tuned", The New York Times, January 1, 2006. Accessed September 3, 2011. "'It's great when people you admire like what you're doing,' Mr. Scharpling, who grew up in Dunellen, writes for Monk in Summit and lives with his wife in Woodbridge, said before a recent Best Show."