Governor of New Jersey

Governor of New Jersey
Governor of New Jersey
Seal of New Jersey.svg
Seal of New Jersey
Chris Christie

since January 19, 2010
Style The Honorable
Residence Drumthwacket
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder William Livingston
Formation New Jersey State Constitution
Website Office of the Governor

The Office of the Governor of New Jersey is the executive branch for the U.S. state of New Jersey. The office of Governor is an elected position, for which elected officials serve four year terms.[1] While individual politicians may serve as many terms as they can be elected to, Governors cannot be elected to more than two consecutive terms.[1] The official residence for the Governor is Drumthwacket, a mansion located in Princeton, New Jersey, but the office of the Governor is at the New Jersey State House. The current Governor is Chris Christie, who assumed office on January 19, 2010.



The governor is directly elected by the voters to become the political and ceremonial head of the sovereign state. The governor performs the executive functions of the state, and is not directly subordinate to the federal authorities. The governor assumes additional roles, such as being the Commander-in-Chief of the New Jersey National Guard forces (when they are not federalized).

The Governor of New Jersey is considered one of the most powerful governorships in the nation[2][3] as it is currently the only state-wide (non-federal) elected executive office in the state. Thus, unlike many other states that have elections for some cabinet-level positions, under the New Jersey State Constitution the governor appoints the entire cabinet, subject to confirmation by the New Jersey Senate. More importantly, under the New Jersey constitution, the governor appoints all superior court judges and county prosecutors, although this is done with strong consideration of the preferences of the individual state senators who represent the district where vacancies arise.

The Governor is also responsible for appointing two constitutionally created officers, the New Jersey Attorney General and the New Jersey Secretary of State, with the approval of the senate.[4]

The governor serves a four-year term, with no limit on total terms but no more than two terms in a row.[1] State law allows for a maximum salary of $175,000.[1] Jon Corzine accepted a token salary of $1 per year as Governor.[5] Jim McGreevey, his predecessor, took home an annual salary of $157,000.[6]

The Executive Mansion and ceremonial residence of the governor is Drumthwacket, located in the Township of Princeton. Some governors have chosen to either live in the mansion part-time or in their own homes.

Lieutenant governor

On Election Day, November 8, 2005, the voters passed an amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution that creates the position of Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, effective with the 2009 elections.

Before this amendment was passed, a Senate President who became governor or acting governor as a result of a permanent vacancy in the Office of Governor was even more powerful than an elected governor, as he simultaneously served as president of the New Jersey Senate, thus having a major hand in one half of the legislative process and being the executive process. As a result of the constitutional amendment passed in 2005, Governor Richard Codey was the final person to wield such power.

Monmouth Sheriff Kim Guadagno was sworn in as New Jersey's first Lieutenant Governor, on 19 January 2010, under Governor Chris Christie.

Current cabinet

Department Office Incumbent In office since
Department of State Secretary of State Kim Guadagno January 19, 2010
Department of Law and Public Safety Attorney General Paula Dow February 23, 2010
Department of the Treasury State Treasurer Andrew Eristoff March 2, 2010
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth March 4, 2002
Department of Human Services Commissioner of Human Services Jennifer Velez June 21, 2007
Department of Agriculture Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher March 7, 2009
Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner of Banking and Insurance Tom Considine March 24, 2010
Department of Transportation Commissioner of Transportation Jim Simpson March 11, 2010
Department of Education Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf (acting) January 18, 2011
Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development Harold Wirths May 24, 2010
Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner of Health and Senior Services Mary O'Dowd June 03, 2011
Department of Children and Families Commissioner of Children and Families Allison Blake July 30, 2010
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner of Environmental Protection Bob Martin January 19, 2010
Department of Corrections Commissioner of Corrections Gary Lanigan March 22, 2010
Department of Community Affairs Commissioner of Community Affairs Lori Grifa June 2, 2010

Center on the American Governor

The Center on the American Governor,[7] at Rutgers' Eagleton Institute of Politics, was established in 2006 to study the governors of New Jersey and, to a lesser degree, the governors of other states. Currently the program features extensive archives of documents and pictures from the Byrne and Kean administrations, video interviews with many members of the respective administrations, some information on other American governors, and news updates on current governors (of all 50 states). The project is in the process of creating new archives, similar to the Byrne and Kean archives, for later administrations.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ Corzine for Governor - A Prouder New Jersey, accessed March 13, 2006,
  3. ^ Prah, Pamela M. "Massachusetts gov rated most powerful",, March 9, 2007. Accessed May 17, 2007.
  4. ^ "Constitution of New Jersey". 1947. Retrieved 2008-08-26. "Article V, Section IV, paragraph 3 amended effective January 17, 2006." 
  5. ^ Chen, David W. (October 4, 2006). "The Goldman Sachs Crew That’s Helping Run Trenton Government". Article (New York Times Company): pp. 2. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  6. ^ Frequently Asked Questions: What is the Governor of New Jersey's salary?, accessed October 5, 2006.
  7. ^ Eagleton Institute of Politics (2011). "Center on the American Governor". Eagleton Institute of Politics. New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA: Rutgers University. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Eagleton Institute of Politics (2011). "About the Center on the American Governor". Center on the American Governor. New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA: Rutgers University. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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