By JOHN T. WARD
Middletown resident and former Democratic national finance chairman Phil Murphy has declared his run for New Jersey’s governorship, even though voters won’t cast their ballots for another 18 months.
Murphy declared his expected candidacy in a video released Monday on YouTube.
Why so early? “New Jersey’s challenges can’t wait,” the former co-head of Goldman Sachs’s investment management division and ex-Ambassador to Germany says in the video’s opening line.
Titled “Unusual,” the video touts Murphy as unbeholden to special interests.
“Here’s what the campaign is not about: serving the political insiders,” he says in the video. “Because I don’t owe the insiders anything. I worked hard, got lucky, and was able to turn my full attention to giving back.”
He touts his involvement in volunteer organizations helping troubled teens and domestic abuse victims; his work with former Vermont Governor Howard Dean to “build a stronger national Democratic party;” and his 2009 appointment by Obama to serve as Ambassador to Germany, “where I served our country on issues from fighting terrorism to advocating for American businesses.”
“It’s time for a governor who has your back,” Murphy says in the video’s closing lines. “I will.”
From a report on Murphy’s candidacy on NorthJersey.com:
Murphy’s announcement comes as little surprise. He began laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run in 2014 with the formation of a policy group, New Start New Jersey, and later launching a more politically active organization, New Way for New Jersey. He never hid his ambition, often telling reporters he was considering a run for governor and criticizing the leadership of Christie. He did so again Monday.
“Folks are screaming out for adult leadership, leadership that they can trust, leadership that has their back – that they can trust will do the right things when the lights are out and nobody’s looking,” Murphy said. “People are dying for that and they just don’t see it in the inside crowd. They feel like everybody’s part of somebody’s system or operation. And, by the way, if they were so good, why aren’t we in a better place right now as a state? And Chris Christie’s at the top of that list.”
Murphy, 58, and his wife, Tammy, have four children and live in the Fairview section of Middletown. A graduate of Harvard and the Wharton School of Economics, he retired from Goldman Sachs in 2006 after long stints in Germany and Asia.
In 2006, the Murphys and neighbor Bon Jovi hosted former Vice President Al Gore with a reception at Bon Jovi’s Navesink River Road house followed by dinner at the Murphy home on Blossom Cove Road.
Two years later, the Murphys tag-teamed with Bon Jovi again, hosting a two-stop, $2,300-per-head fundraiser for then-Senator Barack Obama during his first presidential campaign.
He resigned his ambassadorship in 2013, according to a Wikipedia biography.