Philip Dunton Murphy will be sworn in today for another term as 56th Governor of New Jersey. He’ll also join an elite group of two-term governors and was the first Democratic governor to win re-election in 44 years.
“It is very humbling. It’s very exciting,” Murphy said during an appearance on the New Jersey Globe Power Hour on Talk Radio 77 WABC on Saturday. “But I have to say it’s tempered by the fact that we’re living in really challenging times right now, particularly the pandemic.”
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner will administer the oath of office to Murphy and Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver.
As a result of Covid, Murphy will forgo the traditional inaugural ball and said he hopes to hold an event later this year “in warmer weather.”
Murphy said he expects his inaugural address to be “thematic.”
“I think you’re going to see a range of things. We’re not going to be anybody different,” he said. “I don’t think you’re going to see us behave in any meaningful way that’s different from the first term. We’ve stood for that stronger, fairer, forward notion from day one.”
Murphy’s inaugural address will be the second of three major speeches he’ll deliver over a condensed seven-week period. His State of the State Address one week ago was done virtually and his Budget Address is set for March. Murphy has not closed the door to an in-person joint session of the New Jersey Legislature.
Under the current State Constitution, Murphy becomes the eighth two-term governor. He follows Alfred Driscoll (1950), Robert Meyner (1958), Richard Hughes (1966), Brendan Byrne (1978), Thomas Kean (1986), Christine Todd Whitman (1998) and Chris Christie (2014).
Prior to the adoption of the current Constitution, New Jersey Governors served a single three-year term and could not succeed themselves. A. Harry Moore won separate terms in 1925, 1931 and 1937, and Walter Edge was elected in 1916 and again in 1943. Moore and Edge both served as U.S. Senators between their first and last terms as governor.