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Adam Alonso (FILE PHOTO)

Alonso to leave administration tomorrow, will advise Murphy from outside

Sources: Move timed to help governor pass his budget, advance policy agenda

By David Wildstein, May 24 2018 3:00 pm

Adam Alonso will leave his position as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Phil Murphy tomorrow in order to advocate on behalf of the governor’s politics from outside state government.

Sources say his moved is timed to begin his new role as Murphy’s top political advisor on Tuesday morning, just as the governor starts his push to pass a state budget and advance some of his major policy initiatives.

“Since day one, Adam has been a trusted member of my team, managing our intergovernmental affairs department and strengthening our relationships with elected officials, community leaders, and members of the public,” said Murphy.  “I’m confident that he’ll continue building on these successes as he transitions to a new role as an outside advisor to me and my senior staff. I’m deeply grateful for his service from the campaign through the transition and administration, and look forward to continuing to work with him to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all.”

Alonso will return to his firm, The Cratos Group, the consulting firm he started in 2009.

Sources have said that Alonso will also take on a key role at the Democratic State Committee, helping to advance the governors agenda and to assist Democrats looking to pick up four New Jersey congressional seats and win countywide elections in longtime Republican strongholds like Burlington, Monmouth, Morris and Somerset counties.

There was speculation last month that Alonso would leave the administration to run for Bergen County Democratic Chairman, in a move that would have seen incumbent Louis Stellato move to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.  The trial balloon popped quickly and he withdrew from the race two days later.

Murphy and Alonso have grown exceptionally close, and people close the governor say he relies heavily on Alonso for political advice.

One top Democratic official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, called Alonso’s decision to leave the governor’s office “a smart move.”

“Adam is a skilled political strategist and he can better serve the governor from the outside, without the constraints that come with being a state employee,” the source said.

Murphy has not announced who would replace Alonso, who is responsible for, among other things, scrutinizing candidates for hundreds of judgeships, county prosecutors, members of commissions and authorities.

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