Word of Phil Murphy’s inauguration as Governor of New Jersey might not yet have reached the nation’s capital, where Murphy’s Washington office — closed on a Saturday despite the government shutdown – still thinks the place belongs to Chris Christie.
A call to Murphy’s DC federal relations office was answered by this recorded message: “Hello, you have reached New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Washington, D.C. office…”
Murphy has not yet announced the appointment of a Director of Federal Relations – which could be the reason why the office that represents his interests in federal government matters – like a shutdown – is not working today. Murphy held a conference call today with Democratic and Republican members of the New Jersey delegation. Since the office is funded through the state budget, the federal shutdown ought not effect whether the office is open.
Most governors maintain a Washington office to help Trenton monitor legislation, regulatory issues and other matters where federal action affects state government. Christie’s person in Washington was Dona DeLeon, a former aide to Gov. Christine Todd Whitman in Trenton and at the Environmental Protection Administration. DeLeon’s LinkedIn page and a roster of state employees available still list her as the head of what is now – or may be — Murphy’s office.