Born in Jersey City, Matheussen earned his undergraduate degree, a B.A. in Communications, from Seton Hall University. He was awarded a J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law. In the 1991 Republican landslide in the New Jersey Legislature, Matheussen won an open Senate seat over Assemblyman Anthony S. Marsella, while his running mates George Geist and Mary Virginia Weber won in the Assembly. In the 1991 race, Matheusen took the seat vacated by three-term incumbent Daniel J. Dalton with 51.7% of the vote, with Marsella polling 48.3%. Matheusen won re-election in 1991 over Bernard Lynch by a 58.9%-41.1% margin, over Sean F. Dalton in a three-way race in 1997 by a 50.7%-46.1% margin and again in 2001 by a 58.3%-41.8% margin over Joseph Manganello.
Matheusen introduced legislation in the Senate in March 1999 to implement the $1 billion property tax rebate proposed by Governor of New JerseyChristine Todd Whitman which would start at $120 per family at its initiation and was planned to grow to $600 per household in its fifth year. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2002, with businessman Doug Forrester winning the party’s nomination. Forrester won the primary with 44.6% of the vote and State Senator Diane Allen came in second with 36.9%, ahead of Matheussen who garnered 18.6% of the vote. Matheussen was nominated by Governor of New JerseyJim McGreevey in February 2003 to head the Delaware River Port Authority. After Matheussen resigned from the Senate in May 2003 to take the post at the DRPA, his Senate seat was filled by Assemblyman George Geist.
An attorney with the firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP, Matheussen is a resident of the Sewell section of Mantua Township, New Jersey. In 2014, he was nominated and confirmed as a New Jersey Superior Court judge.
- “DRPA CFO John T. Hanson Named Acting CEO; Hanson to Replace Outgoing CEO John J. Matheussen for 30 Days”, Delaware River Port Authority, January 15, 2014. Accessed September 22, 2015. “A native of Jersey City, Matheussen was appointed CEO on April 1, 2003.”
- “John J. Matheussen”. Archived from the original on February 25, 1998. Retrieved 2017-04-25.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), New Jersey Legislature. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- Edge, Wally. “No Love in 4th, the state’s #1 swing seat for a dozen years”Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine, PolitickerNJ.com, February 26, 2009. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- NJ Senate District 04 – History, OurCampaigns.com. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- Staff. “METRO NEWS BRIEFS: NEW JERSEY; Bill Is Introduced To Give Tax Rebates”, The New York Times, March 16, 1999. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- Staff. “METRO NEWS BRIEFS: NEW JERSEY; Budget Committees Pass Property-Tax Relief Plan”, The New York Times, March 19, 1999. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- Mercurio, John. “GOP, Democrats tout primary victories”Archived 2008-01-15 at the Wayback Machine, CNN, June 5, 2002. Accessed May 267, 2010. “In New Jersey, Doug Forrester, a wealthy businessman, spent $3.1 million of his own money to defeat fellow Republicans Diane Allen and John Matheussen — both state senators — in the race to challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Torricelli, who faced charges of ethical violations during his first six-year term.”
- NJ US Senate – R Primary 2002, OurCampaigns.com, last updated January 16, 2007. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- Mansnerus, Laura. “Senator Named to Delaware River Authority”, The New York Times, February 27, 2003. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- Grabell, Michael J. “BRIEFINGS: LEGISLATURE; SENATE RACE SHAPES UP”, The New York Times, April 6, 2003. Accessed May 26, 2010.