Home>Campaigns>Murphy quietly came back from Denver one day early, then took helicopter to Hamptons for unannounced trip

The Sikorsky helicopter with call tag NJ13HF, billed to Jon Bon Jovi, is the one Gov. Phil Murphy used for an unannounced fundraiser and overnight trip to the Hamptons on August 26. (Photo: Heliflight Shares).

Murphy quietly came back from Denver one day early, then took helicopter to Hamptons for unannounced trip

Governor attended a fundraiser for his re-election campaign last Thursday, spent the night in the Hamptons

By David Wildstein, August 30 2021 4:03 pm

While New Jerseyans thought Gov. Phil Murphy was attending a National Governors Association meeting in Denver last week, he actually returned to the state one day early and then quickly scooted off to the Hamptons for an unannounced overnight trip using a luxury helicopter billed to rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

Murphy and his wife, First Lady Tammy Murphy, attended a high-dollar campaign fundraiser on Thursday to benefit his own re-election bid and returned to New Jersey by helicopter on Friday.

The Hamptons trip contradicts the governor’s official schedule, which said that the Murphy’s “will travel out-of-state on the morning of Wednesday, August 25…They will return to New Jersey on the afternoon of Friday, August 27.”

The Murphy for Governor campaign paid that $6,500 tab to fly the Democratic governor to East Hampton Airport for the fundraiser, they confirmed on Monday.

They declined to identify details of the fundraiser or to say where Murphy spent the night.

But since the Murphy’s remained in the Hamptons for personal reasons on Thursday night, the governor paid the bill for the return helicopter trip using his personal funds.

Still, the public schedule on who held the constitutional power of the New Jersey governorship on Thursday was different that what the governor’s office announced on August 24.

An announcement from the governor’s office said that Murphy would be out of state from Wednesday to Friday and that “Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver will serve as acting governor during this time.”

But in reality, Oliver’s tenure as acting governor was not continuous.  Murphy reassumed his post upon his arrival back from Denver on Thursday and then Oliver again became acting governor as soon as the helicopter left New Jersey air space.  That means New Jersey residents were not told where the governor would be and when.

The New Jersey Globe has learned that Murphy used a nine-passenger Sikorsky helicopter owned by Heliflight Shares to travel to the airport in the Hamptons.  The reservation for the trip was billed to Bon Jovi, a longtime Murphy friend and supporter.

It’s not immediately clear what the cost to the state was for the one-night Hamptons trip, or if the New Jersey State Police sent troopers to Long Island to meet Murphy’s helicopter.  The state does not comment on the governor’s security detail.

Out of state fundraising trips for political candidates are not unusual.

Murphy left for a nine-day vacation to his home in Italy on August 10.

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