Governor of New Jersey

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Governor of New Jersey
Seal of New Jersey.svg
Seal of New Jersey
Chris Christie 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Chris Christie

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

The Office of the Governor of New Jersey is head of the executive branch of New Jersey's state government. The office of governor is an elected position, for which elected officials serve four-year terms. Governors cannot be elected to more than two consecutive terms, but there is no limit on the total number of terms they may serve.[1] The official residence for the governor is Drumthwacket, a mansion located in Princeton, New Jersey; the office of the governor is at the New Jersey State House in Trenton. The first Governor of New Jersey was William Livingston, who served from August 31, 1776 to July 25, 1790. The current governor is Chris Christie, who assumed office on January 19, 2010, and was elected for his second term on November 5, 2013.


The governor is directly elected by the voters to become the political and ceremonial head of the 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).

Unlike many other states that have elections for some cabinet-level positions, under the New Jersey Constitution the governor and lieutenant governor are the only officials elected on a statewide basis. Much like the President of the United States, 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 Secretary of State of New Jersey, with the approval of the senate.[2]

State law allows for a maximum salary of $175,000.[1] Jon Corzine accepted a token salary of $1 per year as Governor.[3] Jim McGreevey, his predecessor, took home an annual salary of $157,000.[4]

Lieutenant governor[edit]

On Election Day, November 8, 2005, the voters passed an amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution that created the position of Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, effective with the 2009 elections. Before this amendment was passed, the president of the New Jersey Senate would have become governor or acting governor in the event that office of governor became vacant. This dual position was more powerful than that of an elected governor, as the individual would have had a major role in legislative and executive processes. 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 January 19, 2010, under Governor Chris Christie.

Current cabinet[edit]

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 John Jay Hoffman (acting)
Department of the Treasury State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff March 2, 2010
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff December 16, 2011
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 Kenneth E. Kobylowski February 10, 2012
Department of Transportation Commissioner of Transportation Jamie Fox September 22, 2014
Department of Education Commissioner of Education David Hespe (acting) March 20, 2014
Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development Harold J. Wirths May 24, 2010
Department of Health Commissioner of Health Mary E. O'Dowd June 3, 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 Richard E. Constable, III January 2, 2012
Office of the State Comptroller State Comptroller Marc Larkins (acting) December 2013
Office of the Secretary of Higher Education Secretary Rochelle Hendricks May 2011
Motor Vehicle Commission Chair and Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez February 1, 2010
Civil Service Commission Chair Robert Czech February 22, 2010
Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Edward Dickson February 2012
Board of Public Utilities President Dianne Solomon June 27, 2013
Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Michele Brown October 2012
New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Joseph R. Fuentes June 2, 2003

Center on the American Governor[edit]

The Center on the American Governor,[5] 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.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Constitution of New Jersey". 1947. Retrieved 2008-08-26. Article V, Section IV, paragraph 3 amended effective January 17, 2006. 
  3. ^ Chen, David W. (October 4, 2006). "The Goldman Sachs Crew That’s Helping Run Trenton Government". Article (New York Times Company). p. 2. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  4. ^ Frequently Asked Questions: What is the Governor of New Jersey's salary?, accessed October 5, 2006.
  5. ^ Eagleton Institute of Politics (2011). "Center on the American Governor". Eagleton Institute of Politics. New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA: Rutgers University. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  6. ^ 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 November 10, 2011. 

External links[edit]