Brian Gallagher is running for his second term as a Somerset County Freeholder. Brian has a long electoral winning streak, having won four mayoral elections in Democrat-majority Somerville. Brian’s signature accomplishment as Mayor of Somerville is the downtown Somerville revival, which transformed the county seat.
Born and raised in Elizabeth, NJ, Brian attended St. Genevieve Grammar School, then Seton Hall Prep in South Orange. His college years were spent in New Hampshire at New England College, graduating in 1986 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
Brian met his wife Lisa, and in 1991 they were married and settled in Somerville where they have five children. Lisa (nee Merk) was raised in Montgomery, and attended the Montgomery public schools where her mother Janet was a teacher for 20 years, and still resides in the Township.
Brian began his active participation in local government serving as the first chair of the Somerset County Juvenile Conference Committee in the early 90s. He was subsequently appointed to sit on the Somerville Parking and Traffic Committee and in 2001 was appointed to the Somerville Borough Council to fill an unexpired term. Later that year he ran and was elected to the Borough Council.
In 2003 he ran and won the Mayor's seat by 3 votes for his first four year term. He was subsequently elected Mayor for four consecutive terms, serving from 2004-2018. During his 14 years as Mayor, Somerville realized a major renaissance which has reshaped the Seat of Somerset County physically and financially, into a destination for business, visitors, and residents. Brian was sworn in as a Somerset County Freeholder in 2018, and among others has served as liaison to the Park Commission, the Library Board, the Planning Board, Mental Health Board, Engineering, Board of Social Services, Cultural & Heritage Commission, and the Regional Center Partnership.
In addition to being a Freeholder, Brian is also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians; Somerville Elks, the Somerville Metro Lions Club, and a past president and current Board member of the Union County 200 Club.