Surrogate Christopher E. Hudak was elected as the 16th Union County Surrogate in November 2022. He previously served four terms as a Union County Commissioner.
Surrogate Hudak oversees the probate of wills, qualification of will executors, appointment of administrators for those estates without wills, and qualification of guardians for incapacitated persons and minors, as well as certain matters related to adoption. The Surrogate also operates the Surrogate’s Intermingled Trust Fund for Minors and Incapacitated Persons. The County Surrogate is an elected position, established by the New Jersey Constitution. Elections are held every five years.
As a County Commissioner, Hudak has focused on infrastructure growth, education, substance abuse treatment, and recreation opportunities for Union County residents. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, Hudak has championed initiatives ensuring our residents have access to testing, economic relief programs, food distribution, and vaccination programs.
In 2015 Hudak led the creation of the Union County Infrastructure Grant program, which to date has distributed $10.5 million in matching grants for road resurfacing and other municipal infrastructure priorities. He has also championed investment in the Union County Park system, including the soccer complex and spray park at Wheeler Park in Linden, as well as supporting funding for the Clark Reservoir.
Hudak sponsored the County’s initiative to combat heroin addiction, which provides support for Union County residents seeking rehabilitation services, and promoted the creation of the UC STEM (Union County Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) grants program to support existing and new STEM opportunities in elementary and middle schools throughout the County. The STEM grant program launched in 2018, with the disbursement of grants to 40 programs in 14 municipalities.
As Chair of the Board in 2014, Hudak led the County through the launch of free Wi-Fi at County facilities, groundbreaking on two new education facilities, and the opening of the new Warinanco Park track and field. In 2014 Union County also completed planning initiatives in response to Hurricane Sandy and became the first county nationwide to ask gun vendors for their position on gun safety. Hudak has previously chaired the Board’s Fiscal, Policy, and Public Safety Committees, as well as the Open Space Trust Fund. As Fiscal Chair in 2021, Hudak worked to ensure passage of the zero- tax increase budget that maintained all essential services, continued Union County’s COVID-19 response, and maintained the County’s AAA bond rating.
Surrogate Hudak is a licensed attorney. Hudak is a member of the National Association of Counties Large Urban County Caucus. He previously served as a member of the New Jersey State Democratic Committee and is a past Chair of the Linden Democratic Committee. Hudak was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He is a member of the Linden Knights of Columbus, a parishioner at St. John’s Church in Clark, and an Eagle Scout.
A graduate of Roselle Catholic High School and Rutgers University, Hudak holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Kean University and completed his Juris Doctorate at Rutgers. Hudak resides in Clark with his wife Terri, their daughter Catherine, and son Jackson.