New Jersey’s Next Governor: A Political Newbie with Progressive Roots


With his election, Mr. Murphy turns into the primary Democrat to occupy the governor’s workplace in eight years, additional cementing New Jersey’s shift to a decidedly blue state and giving a person who spent years on the periphery as an influential monetary contributor his first likelihood on the political highlight. He takes over a state the place many are disillusioned and offended on the manner the outgoing Republican governor, Chris Christie, has left New Jersey, riddled with debt, faculties bereft of funding, exorbitant property taxes and a dismal public transit system.

Politically inexperienced (his solely different foray into elected workplace was a failed try at a seat on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange) and irrepressibly social (his tenure because the American ambbadador to Germany was chronicled as a lot by the native tabloids as by Foreign Policy journal), Mr. Murphy was in a position to take himself from banking govt to the doorstep of Drumthwacket, because the governor’s mansion known as, thanks partly to a household finely attuned to Democratic politics.


A childhood photograph of Mr. Murphy.

Mr. Murphy, 60, grew up in a modest Irish dwelling in Newton, Mbad., raised on Catholic values of social justice that had been strengthened with journeys to church each Sunday. Part of a household of 4, he often needed to share a bed room, and he received his first job washing dishes when he was 13. His household revered the Kennedys — any speech by John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy was trigger to huddle across the tv.

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Though he by no means ran for pupil authorities in grade college or highschool, politics had been a relentless in his youth, from dinner desk discussions to time spent together with his grandfather — “Honest John” — the chairman of the Newton Board of Assessors.

“I think there’s a continual thread of progressive Democratic principles that the family always stood by,” his sister, Dorothy Murphy Egan, 70, recalled. “I think that’s the absolute truth.”

Mr. Murphy’s father by no means graduated from highschool, and all through his childhood his mom confused the necessity for a very good training. Despite his household’s love of politics, Mr. Murphy felt a stronger pull towards the stage throughout faculty. At Harvard, he rapidly rose to turn out to be president of the Hasty Pudding Club, a famed theatrical membership the place he shared sketches and dance numbers with two future politicians, Charlie Baker, the present Republican governor of Mbadachusetts, and Deval Patrick, a former Democratic governor.

His love for showmanship would mix into his skilled life — from performing karaoke with Goldman Sachs colleagues to singing “Touch Me’’ by The Doors at a latest marketing campaign rally — however fairly than pursue a profession in theater, Mr. Murphy opted for the extra profitable world of finance, the place he ambaded a private fortune throughout a greater than 20-year profession at Goldman Sachs.

It was throughout his time at Goldman that he met his spouse, Tammy. They had recognized one another by means of shared social circles for years. But after a whirlwind first date in London, they had been engaged simply 18 days later. They now have 4 kids, three boys and one lady, and stay in a $9.5 million dwelling in Red Bank, close to the Jersey Shore.


Mr. Murphy, his spouse, Tammy, and their kids in 2012 in Germany, the place he served because the American ambbadador.

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After stints as head of Goldman Sachs Germany and Goldman Sachs Asia that had been thought of largely profitable, Mr. Murphy moved together with his spouse to New Jersey in 2000. They instantly took an curiosity within the native political scene, nurturing and financially supporting candidates who aligned with their center-left positions, main them to a rising political star in Esbad County: Cory Booker.

“It was sometime in 2002 where he really just came to my aid,” Mr. Booker mentioned in an interview. Mr. Booker had simply misplaced his upstart bid to unseat the mayor of Newark, Sharp James, a robust incumbent hampered by controversy, and the defeat, mixed with a documentary that was made in regards to the rough-and-tumble race, led him to query whether or not politics was for him. He hung out on the Murphys’ dwelling, licking his wounds whereas they tried to buoy his spirits.

“He was one of those guys who just really encouraged me at that time to just not give up,” Mr. Booker mentioned.

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In these years, with Mr. Murphy having to dedicate time and vitality to his tasks at Goldman, he largely stored to the political sidelines. It was not till Gov. Richard Codey, a Democrat, tapped him in 2005 to sort out the state’s rising property tax disaster that Mr. Murphy felt the primary pangs to run for workplace himself.

He spent six months on the mission as chairman of a state fee, finally delivering a scathing report on the state’s funds and pension system and lofty objectives for addressing the issues.

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