Joshua Leinsdorf

Josh was born in New Rochelle, New York on October 19, 1945.  He attended public schools in Larchmont and Rochester, New York, graduating from Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts.  He then attended Columbia College in New York City.

When Josh was 12 he was drafted into the advanced science and math program that was created in response to the hysteria caused by the Russian launch of the Sputnik satellite.

While in high school, Josh sat next to a Hiroshima bomb victim at lunch.  Her face was slightly misshapen, like a plastic doll having been left too long near a heat source.  But the fingers of her hands had been fused into paddles, like she had two fingers: a thumb, and a big, wide finger that curled.

Met Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson in March, 1963. Johnson had gotten Josh's father's immigration papers in order when he fled Europe in 1937.

During a limousine ride with Lyndon, Lady Bird, Josh's mother and sister, the Vice-president said, "If they want to get you, there's nothing you can do about it." This was eight months before Kennedy was assassinated.

While in college, Josh got into a fight with the Physics Department and switched his major to English.

In 1964, Josh worked in the Press office of the Massachusetts State House.

In 1966, Josh marched in the first organized anti-Vietnam war march in New York City.

In 1968, Josh left Columbia to work on Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign. He became national travel coordinator for the Senator and the traveling press corps. At that time, the Press Secretary was Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh.

Josh was in Chicago for the Democratic Convention in 1968. The reason no one was killed by the Chicago police is because the Secret Service details covering McCarthy and Humphrey called the White House and said that the police were out of control and that the National Guard better be sent in or someone was going to get killed.

After the campaign, Josh went to work doing polling for the Mayoral Campaign of John V. Lindsay of New York.

After Lindsay lost the Republican nomination to State Senator John Marchi, Josh helped to secure an independent line on the ballot for Mayor Lindsay.

During that petition drive, Josh met Robert B. Brady and Blossom G. Saxe, two lawyers who did much of the petition work for the Brooklyn Democratic Organization. Over the next nine years, Josh would work with Brady and Saxe, learning how to get candidates on the ballot, throw candidates off the ballot, and reapportioning the City Council of New York. Bob, a veteran of the submarine service in World War II and a hero of the Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston, died of an aneurism in 1978. He did not have health insurance, so the doctors did not try too hard to save him. Bee lived to be 95 and died in January, 1999.

In 1970, Josh was elected to Community School Board #3 in Manhattan.

In 1973, after discovering that the schools are run by the state legislatures, Josh decided that getting a life was more important than a political career. He met and married (5 years later) Kathy and they moved to a little house in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Kathy was born in Teaneck and grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey.  They have one child. 

In 1978, Josh ran a walk through campaign as an independent for Monmouth County Freeholder. This campaign taught him that it is possible to influence policy even when running losing campaigns. The 1978 campaign brought cable television to Monmouth County.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter conceded defeat before the polls in California had closed. As a result, the New York Times did not give the virtually complete returns on the Thursday or Friday after the election, as it had in prior years.

Out of curiosity, Josh wrote all 50 Secretaries of State plus the District of Columbia asking for the election results. The information that came back in the mail made me realize that the people's voice is being ignored in political analysis. This started him analyzing election results, the fruits of which are on the website.

Over the next twenty years, Josh ran for Freeholder, Council, Mayor, Assembly and State Senate; all the time on the same platform: a ferry to New York from the Bayshore, turning abandoned right of ways into bike paths, removing the asbestos ceiling in the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library, a twelfth grade standard for high school graduation, a comprehensive usable mass transit system, a sidewalk, bus shelter and bench installation program and reducing school busing by asking the high school students to take transit buses.

In 1998, Josh moved to Princeton, New Jersey and in 2000 was elected to the Princeton Regional School Board.  Josh served nine years on the board’s Finance Committee, two years as Chairman.

Josh taught fifth grade at the Jefferson School in Trenton during the 2004-2005 school year, and eleventh grade and AP English at the Health Sciences Technology High School in New Brunswick.

Most recently, Josh worked as a bus inspector for Coach Suburban Transit.

Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf

Return to Institute of Election Analysis Home Page