Governor of New Jersey

The Governor of the State of New Jersey is head of the executive branch of New Jersey's state government. The office of governor is an elected position, for which elected officials serve four-year terms. Governors cannot be elected to more than two consecutive terms, but there is no limit on the total number of terms they may serve.[1] The official residence for the governor is Drumthwacket, a mansion located in Princeton, New Jersey; the office of the governor is at the New Jersey State House in Trenton.

The first Governor of New Jersey was William Livingston, who served from August 31, 1776, to July 25, 1790. The current governor is Phil Murphy, who assumed office on January 16, 2018.

Governor of New Jersey
Coat of Arms of New Jersey
Governor Phil Murphy
Phil Murphy

since January 16, 2018
SeatTrenton, New Jersey
Term lengthFour years, renewable once consecutively
Constituting instrumentNew Jersey Constitution of 1776
PrecursorGovernor of New Jersey (Great Britain)
Inaugural holderWilliam Livingston
FormationAugust 31, 1776
DeputyLieutenant Governor of New Jersey


The governor is directly elected by the voters to become the political and ceremonial head of the state. The governor performs the executive functions of the state, and is not directly subordinate to the federal authorities. The governor assumes additional roles, such as being the Commander-in-Chief of the New Jersey National Guard forces (when they are not federalized).

Unlike many other states that have elections for some cabinet-level positions, under the New Jersey Constitution the governor and lieutenant governor are the only officials elected on a statewide basis. Much like the President of the United States, the governor appoints the entire cabinet, subject to confirmation by the New Jersey Senate. More importantly, under the New Jersey constitution, the governor appoints all superior court judges and county prosecutors, although this is done with strong consideration of the preferences of the individual state senators who represent the district where vacancies arise.

The governor is also responsible for appointing two constitutionally created officers, the New Jersey Attorney General and the Secretary of State of New Jersey, with the approval of the senate.[2]

As amended in January 2002, state law allows for a maximum salary of $175,000.[3] Phil Murphy has stated that he will accept the full salary.[4] Jon Corzine accepted a token salary of $1 per year as governor.[5][6] Previous governor Jim McGreevey received an annual salary of $157,000, a reduction of 10% of the maximum allowed,[3] while Chris Christie, Murphy's immediate predecessor, accepted the full gubernatorial salary.[3]

The governor has a full-time protective security detail from the Executive Protection Unit of the New Jersey State Police while in office.[7][8] A former governor is entitled to a 1-person security detail from the New Jersey State Police, for up to 6 months after leaving office.[9]

Lieutenant governor

On Tuesday, November 8, 2005, the voters passed an amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution that created the position of Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, effective with the 2009 elections. Before this amendment was passed, the president of the New Jersey Senate would have become governor or acting governor in the event that office of governor became vacant. This dual position was more powerful than that of an elected governor, as the individual would have had a major role in legislative and executive processes. As a result of the constitutional amendment passed in 2005, Governor Richard Codey, serving from November 2004 to January 2006 as governor, was the final person to wield such power.

Kim Guadagno, a former prosecutor, was sworn in as New Jersey's first lieutenant governor on January 19, 2010 under Governor Christie. Succeeding Guadagno, former assemblywoman Sheila Oliver was sworn in on January 16, 2018 under Governor Murphy.

Center on the American Governor

The Center on the American Governor,[10] at Rutgers' Eagleton Institute of Politics, was established in 2006 to study the governors of New Jersey and, to a lesser degree, the governors of other states. Currently, the program features extensive archives of documents and pictures from the Byrne and Kean administrations, video interviews with many members of the respective administrations, some information on other American governors, and news updates on current governors (of all 50 states). The project is in the process of creating new archives, similar to the Byrne and Kean archives, for later administrations.[11]

Oath of Office

"I, A.B., elected governor of the State of New Jersey, do solemnly promise and swear, that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to the governments established in the United States and in this state under the authority of the people, and that I will diligently, faithfully, impartially, justly, and to the best of my knowledge and ability, execute the said office in conformity with the powers delegated to me, and that I will to the utmost of my skill and ability, promote the peace and prosperity and maintain the lawful rights of the said state, so help me God."

See also


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  2. ^ Wikisource:New Jersey Constitution of 1947#SECTION IV 2
  3. ^ a b c Arco, Matthew. "Not all N.J. governors took full pay", New York Observer, September 17, 2013. Accessed January 18, 2018. "By the time Gov. Jim McGreevey took office, legislation passed in 2000 increased the governor’s salary beginning in January 2002 to $175,000. But McGreevey accepted $157,000 – the bulk of his allotted pay."
  4. ^ Livio, Susan K. "Murphy says he will accept $175K salary as governor", NJ Advance Media for, January 17, 2018. Accessed January 18, 2018. "Gov. Phil Murphy, a multimillionaire former Goldman Sachs executive, confirmed Wednesday he will be accepting the $175,000-a-year salary that comes with his new job.... There is precedent for accepting less than the job pays under state law. Gov. Jon Corzine, who made his fortune at Goldman Sachs, accepted only $1 a year. Gov. Chris Christie, Murphy's predecessor, accepted the full salary."
  5. ^ Chen, David W.; Jones, Richard Lezin. "At a Salary of $1 a Year, Corzine Says, He'll Pick People Known for Integrity", The New York Times, November 11, 2005. Accessed January 18, 2018. "Pledging to work hard on 're-engineering government' to give New Jersey 'a fresh start,' the state's incoming governor, Senator Jon S. Corzine, said on Thursday that he would make good on a campaign promise to accept a token salary of $1 per year when he takes office in January."
  6. ^ Chen, David W. "The Goldman Sachs Crew That’s Helping Run Trenton Government", The New York Times, October 4, 2006. Accessed January 18, 2018. "'This is my shot at it, and I hope that I help to contribute to something that’s bigger than me,' said Mr. Rose, who, like Mr. Corzine, is accepting a token salary of $1 a year."
  7. ^ Christie security detail tops $2M
  8. ^ Attorney General’s State Police Executive Protection Unit Review Panel Issues Report on Staffing, Training, Equipment and Emergency Protocols
  9. ^ Chris Christie stopped at Newark Airport for skipping security check
  10. ^ Eagleton Institute of Politics (2011). "Center on the American Governor". Eagleton Institute of Politics. New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA: Rutgers University. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  11. ^ Eagleton Institute of Politics (2011). "About the Center on the American Governor". Center on the American Governor. New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA: Rutgers University. Retrieved November 10, 2011.

External links

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within New Jersey
Succeeded by
Mayor of municipality
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Governor of Pennsylvania
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside New Jersey
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Governor of Georgia
2020 United States presidential election in New Jersey

The 2020 United States presidential election in New Jersey is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, as part of the 2020 United States elections in which all 50 states plus the District of Columbia will participate. New Jersey voters will choose electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote. The state of New Jersey has 14 electoral votes in the Electoral College.As of February 2019, Donald Trump is the declared Republican candidate. Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and Republican primary candidate in 2016 declined to run against Trump.

Cory Booker, one of New Jersey's current senators, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Julian Castro are among the major declared Democratic candidates, among others. Additionally, Kirsten Gillibrand has formed an exploratory committee.Phil Murphy, the current governor of New Jersey, declined to run as Democrat.

A. Harry Moore

Arthur Harry Moore (July 3, 1877 – November 18, 1952) was a Democrat who was the 39th Governor of New Jersey, serving three terms between 1926 and 1941. He was the longest-serving New Jersey Governor in the 20th century and the only New Jersey Governor elected to serve three separate non-consecutive terms. Moore represented New Jersey in the United States Senate from January 3, 1935, to January 17, 1938, when he stepped down to begin his third term as Governor of New Jersey.

Brendan Byrne

Brendan Thomas Byrne (April 1, 1924 – January 4, 2018) was an American politician, statesman, and prosecutor, serving as the 47th Governor of New Jersey from 1974 to 1982.

A member of the Democratic Party, Byrne started his career as a private attorney and worked in the New Jersey state government starting in 1955 before resuming his legal career after leaving office in 1982.

During his time as Governor, Byrne oversaw the opening of the first gambling casinos in Atlantic City and expanded the oceanside municipality's economic base, establishing the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate. He also saved a large majority of woodlands and wildlife areas in the state from development.In the late 1970s, an FBI wiretap recorded local mobsters calling Byrne, "the man who couldn't be bought," a reference to his high ethical standards. The public's response to this propelled his popularity at a time when popular New Jersey politicians were being mired in corruption scandals. Byrne used the quote as the slogan for his successful re-election bid.From 1981-1996, the Meadowlands Arena at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, formerly home to the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League, New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association, and Seton Hall Pirates men's basketball was named Brendan Byrne Arena in his honor. The arena was then renamed Continental Airlines Arena, followed by IZOD Center.

Brendan Byrne State Park, located in New Lisbon, New Jersey was also named in his honor.

In 2011, Byrne was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame for his service to the state.

Edward C. Stokes

Edward Casper Stokes (December 22, 1860 – November 4, 1942) was an American Republican Party politician, who served as the 32nd Governor of New Jersey, from 1905 to 1908.

Foster McGowan Voorhees

Foster McGowan Voorhees (November 5, 1856 – June 14, 1927) was an American Republican Party politician, who served as the 30th Governor of New Jersey from 1899 to 1902.

George C. Ludlow

George Craig Ludlow (April 6, 1830 – December 18, 1900) was an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 25th Governor of New Jersey from 1881 to 1884.

James Fairman Fielder

James Fairman Fielder (February 26, 1867 – December 2, 1954) was an American politician of the Democratic party, who served as the 35th Governor of New Jersey, from 1913 to 1917, with a break of several months when he stepped down from office to avoid constitutional limits on serving successive terms.

John Franklin Fort

John Franklin Fort (March 20, 1852 – November 17, 1920) was an American Republican Party politician, who served as the 33rd Governor of New Jersey, from 1908–1911. His uncle, George Franklin Fort, was a Democratic Governor of New Jersey from 1851–1854.

John W. Griggs

John William Griggs (July 10, 1849 – November 28, 1927) was an American Republican Party politician, who served as the 29th Governor of New Jersey, from 1896 to 1898, stepping down to assume the position as the United States Attorney General from 1898 to 1901.

Leon Abbett

Leon Abbett (October 8, 1836 – December 4, 1894) was an American Democratic Party politician, and lawyer, who served two separate terms as the 26th Governor of New Jersey, from 1884 to 1887 and from 1890 to 1893. He was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly, New Jersey Senate, a Democratic Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, and a Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey

The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is an elected constitutional officer in the executive branch of the state government of New Jersey in the United States. The lieutenant governor is the second highest-ranking official in the state government and is elected concurrently on a ticket with the governor for a four-year term. Because the position itself does not carry any powers or duties other than to be next in the order of succession, the state constitution requires that the lieutenant governor be appointed to serve as the head of a cabinet-level department or administrative agency within the governor's administration.

Prior to 2010, New Jersey was one of a few states in the United States that did not have a lieutenant governor to succeed to the governorship in the event of a vacancy in that office. Only two individuals had previously held the title—both during brief periods in the colonial era (1664–1776) under commission or letters patent from the British Crown. For most of the state's (and previously the colony's) history, a vacancy in the position of governor was filled by the president of the State Senate (called the "Legislative Council" from 1776 to 1844), or during the colonial era by the president of the royal governor's Provincial Council.

After several episodes during which the state had multiple "acting governors" in the span of a few years following the resignations of Governor Christine Todd Whitman in 2001 and Governor James E. McGreevey in 2004, popular sentiment and political pressure from the state's residents and news media outlets sought a permanent and tenable solution to the issue of gubernatorial succession. A referendum put before the state's voters authorized the amendment of the state's constitution in 2006. This amendment provided for the state's first lieutenant governor to be elected in the state's 2009 gubernatorial election.

Republican Kim Guadagno was the first to serve in the post in its modern form. Guadagno, previously the sheriff in Monmouth County, was chosen by Governor Chris Christie to be his running mate on the Republican party ticket in the 2009 election. In 2017, Democratic New Jersey Assemblywoman and former Speaker of the Assembly Sheila Oliver was elected lieutenant governor as the running mate of Phil Murphy, and was sworn in as the second lieutenant governor on January 16, 2018.

Morgan Foster Larson

Morgan Foster Larson (June 15, 1882 – March 21, 1961) was an American Republican politician who served as the 40th Governor of New Jersey.

He was born on June 15, 1882, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Larson attended Cooper Union in New York City, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in 1907 and an Engineer's degree in 1910. He initially worked as an engineer. He was a member of New Jersey Senate from Middlesex County, New Jersey from 1922 through 1928. He was governor of New Jersey from 1929 through 1932.

He was elected Governor of New Jersey in 1928. He won the Republican primary by a 39%–28% margin against Robert Carey, followed by J. Henry Harrison (18%) and Cornelius Doremus (14%). He won the General Election by a 55%–45% margin against Democrat William L. Dill.He died March 21, 1961, and was buried in Alpine Cemetery in Perth Amboy.

New Jersey Attorney General

The attorney general of New Jersey is a member of the executive cabinet of the state and oversees the Department of Law and Public Safety. The office is appointed by the Governor of New Jersey, confirmed by the New Jersey Senate, and term limited. Under the provisions of the New Jersey State Constitution, the Attorney General serves a concurrent four-year term to the governor. Gurbir Grewal was nominated as Attorney General by Governor Phil Murphy. Grewal is the first Sikh attorney general in the United States.The conventional wisdom is that the Attorney General cannot be removed from office except "for cause" by the Governor or by way of legislative impeachment.It is fourth in the line of succession after the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, President of the New Jersey Senate, and Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly. The Attorney General cannot also serve as the Lieutenant Governor.

New Jersey Department of Community Affairs

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is a governmental agency of the U.S. state of New Jersey. The department is headed by Commissioner Sheila Oliver, who is also serving as Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.

Richard Codey

Richard James Codey (born November 27, 1946) is an American Democratic Party politician who served as the 53rd Governor of New Jersey from 2004 to 2006. He has served in the New Jersey Senate since 1982 and served as the President of the Senate from 2002 to 2010. He represents the 27th Legislative District, which covers the western portions of Essex County and the southeastern portion of Morris County. Codey is the longest-serving state legislator in New Jersey history, having served in the New Jersey Legislature continuously since January 8, 1974.

Robert B. Meyner

Robert Baumle Meyner (July 3, 1908 – May 27, 1990) was an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 44th Governor of New Jersey, from 1954 to 1962. Before being elected governor, Meyner represented Warren County in the New Jersey Senate from 1948 to 1951.

Sheila Oliver

Sheila Y. Oliver (born July 14, 1952) is an American politician serving as the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey since 2018. She previously served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2004 to 2018, where she represented the 34th legislative district while also serving as the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly for two terms, from January 12, 2010, to January 14, 2014, as a member of the Democratic Party.

In July 2017, Phil Murphy, the Democratic Party nominee for governor, selected Oliver as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey in the November 2017 election. The Murphy/Oliver ticket won the general election. Oliver was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor on January 16, 2018.

Theodore Fitz Randolph

Theodore Fitz Randolph (June 24, 1826 – November 7, 1883) was an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 22nd Governor of New Jersey from 1869 to 1872, and represented the state in the United States Senate for a single term, from 1875 to 1881. He was the son of US Representative James F. Randolph.

William Paterson (judge)

William Paterson (December 24, 1745 – September 9, 1806) was a New Jersey statesman and a signer of the United States Constitution. He was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and the second governor of New Jersey.

Born in County Antrim, Ireland, Paterson moved to the United States at a young age. After graduating from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and studying law under Richard Stockton, he was admitted to the bar in 1768. He helped write the 1776 Constitution of New Jersey and served as the New Jersey Attorney General from 1776 to 1783. He represented New Jersey at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, where he proposed the New Jersey Plan, which would have provided for equal representation among the states in Congress.

After the ratification of the Constitution, Paterson served in the United States Senate from 1789 to 1790, helping to draft the Judiciary Act of 1789. He resigned from the Senate to take office as Governor of New Jersey. In 1793, he accepted appointment by President George Washington to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He served on the court until his death in 1806.

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