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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin at a press conference in Trenton on September 27, 2018 (Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe).

Coughlin staying out of Norcross-Murphy feud

Assembly speaker says situation will ‘sort itself out’

By Nikita Biryukov, May 09 2019 1:58 pm

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin on Thursday he intends to steer clear of the growing feud between Gov. Phil Murphy and South Jersey power broker George Norcross.

“I’m going to stay away from discussing those matters,” Coughlin said. “This will all sort itself out. We’re all responsible people who are going to make sure that we do the best job for the state of New Jersey. We work together to get things done. There’s been a lot accomplished in the state of New Jersey. That doesn’t happen by people being at odds with each other.”

Though the two have never been fast friends, Murphy and Norcross have increasingly been at odds with one another since last Thursday, when the task force convened by Murphy to investigate abuses of tax incentives meted out by the Economic Development Authority took aim at four firms with ties to Norcross.

The task force pointed to oddities in those firms’ applications, including a claim by Cooper University Health Services, whose board of trustees Norcross chairs, that none of the company’s jobs were in danger of being moved out of state.

The hospital system later changed its mind and received an award for keeping jobs in the state.

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