An aide to U.S. Senator Cory Booker is headed to Trenton for a top staff position in Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.
Gary R. Williams will work for Justin Braz, the deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs in what is expected to be a new push by the Murphy administration to enhance their relationships with state legislators. He is a strong recruit for the governor and brings a network of statehouse and national relationships to the Murphy front office.
He joins Paulina Banasiak, a former chief of staff to Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood) and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City), and Justin Rodriguez, who served as chief of staff to Assemblyman Herbert Conaway, Jr. (D-Delran) in the legislative affairs shop.
Williams has been a projects specialist in Booker’s Newark office since 2016, where he has handled statewide and national labor relationships. As the senior African American in Booker’s state office, he has also managed the senator’s relationships with New Jersey African American leaders.
He started out as deputy director of policy and constituent relations in the district office of Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, and later became outreach coordinator for the Assembly Majority office. Williams was serving as a policy analyst on the Assembly staff when Booker hired him.
This is Murphy’s second recent hire out of Booker’s Senate office. His new chief of staff, George Helmy, served as Booker’s state director.