Secretary of State of New Jersey

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Secretary of State of New Jersey
Tahesha Way.jpg
Tahesha Way

since 2018
Department of State
TypeSecretary of State
First holderCharles Pettit

The secretary of state of New Jersey oversees the Department of State, which is one of the original state offices. The Secretary is responsible for overseeing artistic, cultural, and historical programs within the U.S. state of New Jersey, as well as volunteerism and community service projects within the state and is also the keeper of the Great Seal of the State. The Secretary is appointed by the Governor.

The department's agencies include the State Archives, the Division of Elections, the Division of Programs, the Business Action Center, the Red Tape Review commission, the Council on the Arts, the historical Commission, the Cultural Based Initiatives, the Center for Hispanic Research and Development, the Office for Planning Advocacy and the State Planning Commission. The Secretary of Higher Education, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, the State Library and the Sports and Exposition Authority are in but not of the department.

The New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management, sometimes referred to simply as the "State Archives", is the repository for all vital statistics, including marriage and divorce records and birth certificates, and also maintains a separate set of files for the registry of wills. The Secretary of State oversees the Division of Tourism which advertises and promotes New Jersey as a premier travel destination and the Division of Elections, and sets all tourism and election policy.

The Secretary is the Chief Elections Officer of New Jersey. Prior to April 1, 2008, the electoral division was under the New Jersey Attorney General.[1] The Secretary of State is also the chair of the board of State Canvasser, which certifies election results for federal and state office elections and public questions.[2]

In New Jersey, registry of corporations is not the responsibility of the Secretary of State. The New Jersey Department of the Treasury is responsible for the maintenance of corporate records.

In New Jersey, the Secretary of State serves a term of office concurrent with that of the Governor.[3] Although the conventional wisdom is that the Secretary of State cannot be removed from office except "for cause" by the Governor or by way of legislative impeachment,[4] a recent law review article argues that the Governor does not have the authority to remove the Secretary of State "for cause,"[5] and this issue has not been tested.

The current Secretary of State is Tahesha Way.

List of officeholders[edit]

Holders of the office of Secretary of State include:[6]

# Secretary of State Term Governor Party
1 Charles Pettit 1776–1779 William Livingston Federalist
2 Bowes Reed 1778–1794
3 Samuel W. Stockton 1794–1795
4 John Beatty 1795–1805
5 James Linn 1805–1820 Democratic Republican
6 Daniel Coleman 1820–1830
7 James Westcott 1830–1840
8 Charles McChesney 1840–1851 Daniel Haines
9 Thomas Allison 1851–1861
10 Whitfield Johnson 1861–1866
11 Horace Congar 1866–1870
12 Henry Kelsey 1870–1897
13 George Wurts 1897–1902
14 Samuel Dickinson 1902–1912 Woodrow Wilson (1911–1913)
15 David Crater 1912–1915 Woodrow Wilson
16 Thomas Martin 1915–1926
17 Joseph Fitzpatrick 1926–1931
18 Thomas A. Mathis 1931–1941 Harold G. Hoffman (1935–1938)
A. Harry Moore (1938–1941)
19 Joseph Brophy 1941–1946 Charles Edison (1941–1944)
Walter F. Edge (1944–1947)
20 Lloyd B. Marsh 1946–1954 Walter F. Edge
Alfred E. Driscoll (1947–1953)
21 Edward J. Patten 1954–1962 Robert B. Meyner (1954–1962) Democratic
22 Robert J. Burkhardt 1962–1970 Richard J. Hughes (1962–1970) Democratic
23 Paul Sherwin 1970–1972 William T. Cahill (1970–1974)
Acting Robert Falcey 1972–1974 William T. Cahill
24 J. Edward Crabiel 1974–1977 Brendan Byrne Democratic
Acting Francis Carragher 1977 Brendan Byrne Democratic
Acting George Lee 1977 Brendan Byrne Democratic
25 Donald Lan 1977–1982 Brendan Byrne Democratic
26 Jane Burgio 1982–1990 Thomas H. Kean (1982–1990) Republican
27 Joan Haberle 1990–1992 James Florio (1990–94)
28 Daniel Dalton 1992–1994 James Florio
29 Lonna Hooks 1994–1998 Christine Todd Whitman (1994–2001)
Acting Carol Cronheim 1998–1999 Christine Todd Whitman
30 DeForest Soaries 1999–2002 Christine Todd Whitman
Donald DiFrancesco (2001–2002)
31 Regena Thomas 2002–2006 James E. McGreevey (2002–2004)
Richard Codey (2004–2006)
32 Nina Mitchell Wells 2006–2010 Jon S. Corzine (2006–2010)
33 Kim Guadagno 2010–2018 Chris Christie (2010–2018) Republican
34 Tahesha Way 2018–present Phil Murphy (2018–present) Democratic


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Division of Elections transfer of authority
  2. ^ New Jersey State Legislative Manual 2013
  3. ^ New Jersey State Constitution Art V, Sec 4
  4. ^ Letter from OLS Deputy Counsel Danielle A. Brucchieri to Senate Republican Office, Office of Legislative Services, May 9, 2005. Accessed December 2, 2008.
  5. ^ Eric R. Daleo, "The Scope and Limits of the New Jersey Governor's Authority to Remove the Attorney General and Others 'For Cause'" Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Rutgers Law Journal, Vol. 39, Issue 2, page 393, 2008. Accessed December 2, 2008.
  6. ^ Gribbins, J. Joseph (1971). Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey. Trenton, N. J. p. 217.
  7. ^ Christie to tap lieutenant governor-elect as secretary of state
  8. ^ Christie taps lieutenant governor for double duty as secretary of state