Gov. Phil Murphy was elected chair-elect of the Demcoratic Governor’s Association this morning, paving the way for him to chair the group in 2020.
Murphy, a former Democratic National Committee Finance Chairman, will now assume the same role his predecessor, Gov. Chris Christie, held for the Republicans in 2014. Christie faced considerable criticism for the time spent out of state while working on that unpaid post.
The story of Murphy’s candidacy for the post was first reported by Politico New Jersey.
The new job puts Murphy in the national spotlight.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo will head the DGA in 2019.
“I’m honored to take on this new role with my fellow Democratic governors,” said DGA Chair-Elect Governor Phil Murphy. “We’re showing in New Jersey how Democratic leadership can bring real change on the state level, despite the mistaken priorities of Washington, D.C. In the Garden State, we’re delivering real results for families, from strengthening economic security for working families to fighting for gender equality, and from combatting climate change to expanding access to higher education. I look forward to working with Governor Raimondo and my fellow governors to continue making significant progress in our states.”
Eleven states will elect governors in 2020.
Murphy’s top priority will be the re-election of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in North Carolina. This week, Honeywell announced that they were downsizing their New Jersey corporate headquarters and relocating hundreds of jobs to North Carolina.
Delaware Gov. John Carney and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are considered strong candidates for re-election.
Democrats are expected to fight to keep the Montana governorship, where Democrat Steve Bullock is term-limited. Christie worked hard to beat Bullock in 2014, without success.
Of the seven Republican governors, six– Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia — are seeking re-election; Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is retiring.
Like Christie, Murphy will likely spend time in New Hampshire in a bid to unseat Gov. Chris Sununu.