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Paulina Banasiak. (Photo: Kaufman Zita).

Banasiak is newest addition to Kaufman Zita team

By David Wildstein, March 21 2022 12:47 pm

A former top aide to Gov. Phil Murphy has joined an influential Trenton lobbying firm.

Paulina Banasiak, who served as acting deputy of staff to the governor last year after Justin Braz left to join the re-election campaign, is now a vice president of the Kaufman Zita Group.

A former chief of staff to Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) and legislative director to former Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood), Banasiak served as Murphy’s director of legislative affairs and as the governor’s office representative to the Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning.

Braz returned to his post after the governor’s re-election.  Banasiak, who left Murphy’s office last Friday, has been replaced by Emy Quispe.

“Paulina is well known and well respected throughout the state of New Jersey and across the political spectrum,” said Trish Zita, the firm’s principal.  “We believe her extensive experience in legislative affairs, her broad knowledge of state government, and her high-level relationships with key decision makers will be invaluable to our clients.”

At Kaufman Zita, Banasiak joins the indomitable Jeannine Frisby LaRue and Edward R. McGlynn, who served as chief of staff to Gov. Thomas Kean from 1985 to 1990.

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