James Gallagher is an American Democratic Party politician, who has served on the Passaic County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders since 1997, winning re-election to three-year terms of office in 2000, 2003 (when he garnered the greatest number of votes among all six Freeholder candidates) and 2006. He served as Deputy Freeholder Director in 2005 and as Director of the Freeholder Board in 2003. Gallagher is entitled to a $28,500 annual salary as a Freeholder, but refused to accept a 2004 raise and receives $25,355 per annum.
Freeholder Gallagher, the son of a Paterson, New Jersey Fire Captain, was born in Paterson, attended P.S. #25 and Paterson Catholic High School. In 1982, he obtained a degree in Criminal Justice and in 1984 a Master's Degree in Urban Affairs from William Paterson University.
Gallagher's experience in public service includes serving for six years on the Paterson Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services. He worked for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, together with the New Jersey State Police, on the first state takeover of a municipal police department in the City of Camden. When the department was returned to City control, he assisted Chief Robert Pugh with the transition. Additional assignments included working in the "Distressed Cities Program," examining financial and operational procedures in a number of cities.