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Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Murphy tapped to lead National Governors Association in 2022

Republican governor of Arkansas: ‘Gov. Murphy showed a steady hand of leadership during the pandemic and has proven he can work across the aisle to get things done’

By David Wildstein, June 23 2021 4:35 pm

Republicans control 27 of the nation’s 50 governorships and that GOP majority appears to believe New Jersey’s Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, will win re-election to a second term.

The bipartisan National Governors Association today elected Murphy as their new vice chairman with the presumption that he will win re-election and become the NGA Chairman in 2022.  Murphy had no opposition.

The decision to pick Murphy came with plaudits from the Republican Governor of Arkansas.

“I look forward to working even closer with Gov. Murphy as he becomes Vice Chair of the National Governors Association,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson in a statement to The Hill. “Gov. Murphy showed a steady hand of leadership during the pandemic and has proven he can work across the aisle to get things done.”

Hutchinson, who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election next year, became NGA Vice Chairman last August.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo served as chairman in a position that alternates between the two parties.

Murphy, if he is reelected, would become the first New Jersey Governor to lead the NGA.

Murphy served as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2020.

While the job of the Democratic and Republican Governors Association is overtly political – their job is to win gubernatorial races – the National Governors Association is non-partisan and concentrates of policy.

New Jersey is one of two states with gubernatorial elections in 2021 and Murphy is the only incumbent seeking re-election.

Murphy isn’t the first governor to get in the rotation in advance of a re-election campaign.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan became vice chair in 2018 while seeking re-election.  He defeated Democrat Ben Jealous by 12 points.

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