Pranzatelli Bringing People Skills to Township
Resident Mary Pranzatelli is running for a seat on the township council.
Editor's Note: Each day this week, we will feature the biography of one of the candidates running in the elections this year. First will be the mayoral candidates, followed by the candidates for council.
She has family members who have run for office in the past, and a lifelong interest in political campaigns—and now, with her love of Bridgewater, resident Mary Pranzatelli is launching her own campaign to be a member of the township council.
“Although I have spent some brief years in neighboring towns, I have returned to my hometown,” she said. “I can compare areas and find that Bridgewater is the best.”
Pranzatelli is running for one of two open council seats on the Democratic ticket with John Rooney. Both are running against current council members Matthew Moench and Christine Henderson Rose.
Pranzatelli, an almost lifelong resident of Bridgewater, graduated from Bridgewater-Raritan High School East, before attending Middlesex County College and the Garden State Academy of Beauty Culture, where she finished a degree in cosmetology.
“That was in order to acquire a license to open a salon,” she said. “I use the knowledge from that degree in my work.”
Now, Pranzatelli said, she is a social media reporter for “On the Loose” channel 15, as well as for Fios 40 NJ Public Access TV.
“It gives me great pleasure to talk to people at charitable and social events,” she said.
In addition, Pranzatelli said, she is working for Bloomingdales, under Macy’s Inc., where she has worked for 10 years.
“I started working for Macy’s and participated in the grand opening of the Bridgewater Commons Mall,” she said. “I also worked in retail at Saks Fifth Avenue.”
Politically, Pranzatelli said, she is involved with the Somerset County Democrats and the Bridgewater Democratic Committee, serving as part of the executive committee for the county and as the registration chair.
“I am a committee person for voting district No. 10 in Bridgewater, and attend all Bridgewater functions and many county functions,” she said. “Last year, I was campaign manager for our council candidate.”
Pranzatelli said she is also on the NJ State Board of Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation.
And recently, Pranzatelli said, she has been working with the Red Cross to assist flood victims from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and the most recent storms.
“I worked in the shelter and helped with meals,” she said. “I have worked with the elderly as well, visiting and talking.”
But through all of that work, Pranzatelli said, she is proud to be a resident of Bridgewater.
“What I truly like about the town is that it has given me one of the best educations in our nation,” she said. “Our library is well-used because it has books, movies, tapes and programs for adults and children. It is a great source for our community for residents of all ages.”
“I feel that Bridgewater has given me a good quality of life, and I am grateful to be fortunate enough to benefit from that quality and feel the need to give back to my community for what it has given me,” she added.
Pranzatelli said she has brothers who have run for office, and she has managed a campaign before, which gave her the opportunity to work closely with candidates.
“I am fascinated with the process,” she said. “When I was a child, my brother Joseph was fascinated by history and President John F. Kennedy. [My family] taught my sister and me a lot about the political process. I always felt proud of the fact that our family shared a common interest and developed a passion to give back to our community.”
And Pranzatelli, whose father is a World War II veteran, said she still has family in the area, and they have taught her to work hard for what she wants.
“I was raised with family values that have taught me to be passionate and to fight for what I believe in, and also to do the right thing even if it is not popular,” she said.
As she prepares her campaign, and in reflecting on her career so far, Pranzatelli said she has learned people skills through working with all kinds of people in education, work and public service.
“I have learned from my campaigning experiences that the hardships people have endured make them very interested in political processes,” she said. “I can listen to people to find out their particular problems and I am determined to help others.”
“I have grown in my appreciation of diversity and the recognition of hidden talents of many of our citizens,” she added.