Justin Braz will depart his post as deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs to Gov. Phil Murphy today and will join the governor’s re-election campaign as a senior advisor.
In that post, Braz is expected to play a leading role in securing a second term for the Democratic governor.
Paulina Banasiak will replace Braz in the Governor’s office as the acting deputy chief of staff.
Braz is the fourth top Murphy aide to move from the government side to the Murphy/Oliver campaign team. Former deputy chief of staff Michael DeLamater is political director and Jerrel Harvey, a former deputy press secretary, is heading the communications team. Derick Green left the governor’s office in May and is now advising he campaign on a part-time basis.
Braz joined Murphy’s staff on Inauguration Day 2018 after serving as labor director for Victory 2017, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee’s coordinated campaign. He served as chief of staff to Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth) and as political coordinator for 1199 SEUU during the 2012 and 2013 campaigns.
Banasiak has worked as Murphy’s director of legislative affairs since January 2018. She is a former chief of staff to Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) and as legislative director for Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood).