Former Governor Jim Florio has Died
Former Governor Jim Florio, a Navy veteran, former amateur boxer and proud New Jersey Democrat who represented South Jersey and the Camden waterfront in Congress, died last night.
Forced to raise taxes, he said, Governor Florio fought unsuccessfully for a second term in 1993, losing narrowly to Christie Todd Whitman.
Said Governor Phil Murphy of his predecessor, “Governor Florio was a fighter who never backed down. He was a leader who cared more about the future of New Jersey than his own political fortunes. And he was also a friend whose kind counsel was invaluable to me and countless others across our state. Our communities are cleaner today because of the environmental efforts he championed in Congress. And our streets are safer today because of his dogged effort to enact and defend our state’s assault-weapons ban, which remains the law to this day. More than anything, Governor Florio showed that legacies are built by doing the right things. Tammy and I send our heartfelt thoughts to Lucinda, Jim’s children, and all who loved him. Our state has lost a good man, and later this morning I will sign an executive order directing our flags to fly at half-staff in his honor.”
Governor Florio’s law partner, Doug Steinhardt, initially reported the news of his friend’s death via Twitter:
“Governor Florio passed away last night comforted by family & friends. Our partnership was a constant reminder to me that ppl can disagree on fundamental tenets of gov’t & politics, but still be civil & still be friends. I will miss him.”
New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., released the following statement:
“Governor Jim Florio was a consummate public servant who rose from humble, working class beginnings to devote his life to making the State of New Jersey a better place to live, work and raise a family. As a member of Congress representing South Jersey, he wrote landmark environmental legislation that is still helping us clean up industrial sites and create a greener future. As Governor Jim Florio had the courage of his convictions to pursue a progressive agenda even in the face of major opposition and backlash. While he did not win a second term, his initiatives on school funding and gun safety helped shape the state we love today and his impact will always be remembered.
“On behalf of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, I want to extend my condolences to Governor Florio’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time, and commit to always remembering the positive impact he had on our state.”
A lifelong public servant, Governor Florio served in the legislature prior to going to Congress, and prior to becoming governor. In 1969 and 1971, he represented the 3rd Legislative District in the General Assembly, which covered portions of Camden. He was elected in 1973, together with Ernest F. Schuck, to represent the 5th Legislative District in the General Assembly, which covered portions of Camden County and Gloucester County; Florio resigned in 1975 to take a seat in the U.S House of Representatives.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) backed Mr. Florio for the U.S. Senate in 2000. The former governor lost to Jon Corzine in the Democratic Primary, 58-42%.
“Governor Florio was a good man, an inspiring leader, and a picture of perseverance,” Pascrell tweeted. “He had a lot of big wins, some tough losses, and always bounced back always to help New Jersey be even better. Jim was my good friend. The whole state is poorer without him today.”
“In November 1974, Florio was elected to the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 1st congressional district, and served from January 3, 1975, until January 16, 1990.
“In Congress, he was best known as the author of the Superfund legislation to clean up the most polluted sites in the country. He was the author of the Railroad Deregulation Law which saved the nation’s freight railroads, including Conrail. He was also cosponsor of the Exon-Florio Amendment, which created the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and effectively removed Congress from the approval process on foreign takeovers of U.S. industrial concerns. This legislation was a factor in the Dubai Ports World controversy in 2006.”
Governor Florio was an early backer of Joe Biden for President in 2020.
“Donald Trump is an existential threat to the future of our nation,” he told his friend, InsiderNJ columnist Alan Steinberg. “His character and corruption make him an unfit president. I plan to endorse Joe Biden. He is definitely the most electable Democratic candidate. I have had a long relationship with him, and he has both the experience and personal character to be a successful president. Most importantly, Donald Trump must be defeated, and Joe Biden is definitely the most electable Democrat.”
Steinberg added this about the Governor:
“Jim Florio is a person of commitment and passion, both as to his values, which are traditional working class and community oriented, and as to his positions on issues, which are oriented to both policy solutions and pragmatic politics. Yet in communicating his values and policy views, Florio’s passion is tempered by a strong sense of dignity, decorum, and a desire to listen and respond to the views of the person with whom he is conversing. Jim Florio engages in dialogue – he does not harangue.”
U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1) released the following statement upon learning of the death of former Governor Florio:
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Governor Jim Florio. He was a dedicated public servant who cared deeply for our great state and its people. He was a true environmentalist, a trailblazer long before it was popular to do so. As a congressman he championed the superfund law that has cleaned up dangerous chemicals in communities in New Jersey and around the country, and as governor he signed the state’s clean water act, saving countless lives. He led by seeing the good in every individual and reached across party lines to do what was right even when it was hard. My deepest sympathies to his wife and family. New Jersey has lost one of our greatest champions and he will be truly missed.”
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‘Forced to raise taxes, he said, Governor Florio fought unsuccessfully for a second term in 1993, losing narrowly to Christie Todd Whitman.”
You guys are amazingly consistent! Spin it dead or alive, raising taxes and not cutting the spending is a choice and the politicians will never let the political class suffer for it just give the bill to the tax payers.
Your reporting again today shows why people do not trust the media.
Jim was a role model in the true art and meaning of public service. He is gone but his example of passionate devotion to those he served through out his life remains.
James Florio was a Class Act and a Leader in the every way he carried himself through all different types of turmoil he encounter with Integrity and Sincerity no matter what the situation and a true gentleman in every sense of the word from Jimmy Pearl of Bayonne, New Jersey.
A true public servant and leader who put principle above self-interest.
Jim Florio has dominated the environmental scene my entire career. He not only lived but led our nation’s modern environmental movement for decades. He authored Superfund and saved the Pinelands as a Congressman in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He stopped garbage incinerators in overburdened communities and championed cutting edge legislation like the Clean Water Enforcement and Pollution Prevention Acts as governor in the 1990’s. And in the 30 years since, he successfully fought roll backs of these critical environmental and public health safeguards as chair of the Pinelands Commission and so much more. God bless you, governor, a life well-lived and an everlasting legacy, thank you!
3 Things that Florio will go down in infamy for: High taxes and not cutting spending, gun control that did nothing to stop gun violence but violated everyone’s 2nd Amendment Rights to not be infringed, and the toilet paper tax. The guy was a loser, only making it one-term. Thank God!!! The taxpayers avoided a bullet when Florio only got one term.