Who in New Jersey (and New Jersey) politics has known Phil Murphy longer than others?


Jon Corzine didn’t care about building relationships, contenting himself with making his way to office and making up for a less than dazzling personality with mountains of money, while Phil Murphy – obviously shaped by the same. Goldman Sachs’ transactional worldview that Corzine – nonetheless sought to personalize his lead to the Drumthwacket throne.

He must have, in a sense, followed in the footsteps of his political predecessor Goldman.

Murphy, like Corzine before him, lacks deep connections in New Jersey politics. So he tried during two years of the politically electric campaign to convey a genuine interest in people. Corzine wore a snowy expression on the television screen in the presence of new faces. Murphy tried to channel a different kind of people-centered receptivity, and many of those people – mostly Democratic Party types – rejoice in the routine reception of personalized text messages from the governor’s favorite.

“He is my friend!” right now is a common refrain, not anchored by the icteric doctrine of Gerry McCann. “He’s not your friend,” the former Jersey City mayor used to warn, generally speaking about the social world of his chosen profession. “He’s just someone you met in politics.”

If elected next week, Murphy would be the only governor-elect of the NJ for at least a hundred years who had not first held elected office – with the exception of Governor Richard J. Hughes, who was a judge before. to become governor. ; and Brendan Byrne, Essex County Judge and Attorney. Even Corzine had first served as a United States Senator before becoming governor. And Hughes and Byrne both had measurable bureaucratic service from the NJ government over a span of several years.

Given such a history and a time defined by Murphy’s obvious and overriding ambition to be governor, a few handfuls of seasoned insiders harbor some skepticism, frankly noting the lack of a record of deep relationships. and sustained in politics off recording conversations.

“Who is the person who made the leap from one iteration of Phil Murphy’s career to the next – this Jiminy Cricket – not his wife – but someone outside of his family who staunchly supported him from one step to another? ” asked an insider, unable to pick up a name.

InsiderNJ did some research and found the following names of those people related to NJ politics, or related to NJ, who have known Murphy the longest, not necessarily the thread of human connective tissue from a professional part of his life. to the next, but maybe the next best thing:

Dick codey

“This is the deepest relationship Murphy has, dating back to at least 2005,” a Democratic Party source said, referring to the former acting governor (and incumbent state senator from LD27) who appointed Murphy as chair of the New Jersey Benefits Working Group. Codey and Murphy have been friends and have been linked socially and politically since Codey’s days as governor. It’s a real relationship, the source said.

Jon Bon Jovi

No, the big-haired rocker – a candidate for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – is not a political figure, but sources say the Murphys and the Bon Jovis – both powerful couples in Monmouth County – know each other socially. for 20 years. years old, and have a real friendship. Based on the extensive work he has done with Gov. Chris Christie (and State Senator Joe Vitale) to decriminalize drug use in New Jersey, in addition to the early pre-primary appearances he has made in Murphy’s name, Bon Jovi has always shown a real political side.

Joe cryan

It’s not like Codey’s relationship with Murphy. But Murphy served as finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee while Cryan served as chairman of the Democratic State Committee. They loved each other, communicated and built a relationship. Cryan signaled an early interest in being with Steven Fulop for the governorship, but was able to happily turn to Murphy after Fulop announced his decision not to pursue the governorship. Now Cryan, a former Coven and serving Union County sheriff, is set to hang on the 20e District Senate seat left behind by incumbent Senator Ray Lesniak. Given the history and his ability to get close to an outsider like Corzine when it mattered, expect Cryan to quickly emerge as a Senate player with allegiance to the incoming Governor (if Murphy defeats Guadagno).

Bradley Abbott

Corzine’s former chief of staff knew Murphy at Goldman Sachs and worked with him in Germany. A source told InsiderNJ he saw Abelow recently at a Democratic Party event. Even though there isn’t a deep connection there, Abelow, due to Goldman and his government background, is a bridge-like figure. But sources say they would be shocked if Abelow, a man in the financial industry who replaced Tom Shea as Corzine’s chief of staff in 2007, returned to Trenton. “This is not happening,” insisted a party source. “With Murphy, you’ll really see a concerted move away from those kinds of mistakes, like having finance guys crawling through the halls of the Statehouse. This explains the movement of Peter Cammarano. You might not agree with him, but you like him and you can’t ignore his knowledge of Trenton.

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