Trailblazer: Speaker S. Howard Woodson

Rev. S. Howard Woodson (1916-1999) was the first African American to serve as Speaker of the New Jersey State Assembly.  He held the post in 1974 and 1975. He was the first black to serve as a Speaker in any state since Reconstruction. He was also the state’s first African American legislative leader when he became Assembly Minority Leader in 1968. Woodson was a minister who moved to Trenton as

Trailblazer: Mayor Kenneth Gibson

Kenneth Gibson became the first African American to serve as mayor of a major northeastern city when he ousted two-term incumbent Hugh Addonizio in 1970. Gibson had served as an engineer for the New Jersey Highway Department and as the Newark City engineer before becoming involved in local politics. In 1966, Gibson mounted his first campaign for mayor against Addonizio, who gave up his seat in the U.S. House of

Christie won’t attend State of the State

Former Gov. Chris Christie will not attend Gov. Phil Murphy’s first State of the State address. One of the traditions of the State of the State is the presence of former governors in the front row.  Some have been more regular in attendance than others.  Brendan Byrne rarely missed them.  Christine Todd Whitman hardly ever attends. Former acting Gov. John O. Bennett III, who served for 84 hours in 2002,

Some Democratic Governor’s Association trivia

The last New Jerseyan to head the Democratic Governor’s Association was Brendan Byrne in 1980. Democrats won six and lost seven. Incumbents Bill Clinton (Arkansas), Joseph Teasdale (Missouri) and Arthur Link (North Dakota) lost re-election bids.  Two other Democratic governors lost their primaries: Thomas Judge (Montana) and Dixy Lee Ray (Washington).  Democrats held Montana and lost Washington in the general. Byrne was also the last Democratic governor of New Jersey