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Appearing Wednesday night on ‘Ask The Governor’ on NPR, Governor Murphy said it’s ‘above my paygrade’ whether or not Senator Booker should be in Newark amid the lead contamination crisis.
Asked whether its fair to lay some of the blame of water mismanagement at the feet of Newark’s former Mayor (detailed in a NY Times piece) and if the state’s junior Senator should return to the city, Murphy touted Booker’s presidential candidacy, saying ‘I am a huge supporter’ and believes he would ‘make a great president’.
Murphy said ‘it’s above my paygrade if he should be here [in Newark]. When folks want to make political hay, they’ll do it. I want to say on something like this, let’s be money ball, make decisions based on the facts. It’s our residents’ well-being that we must place first and foremost’.
The Governor said he’s been in contact with federal elected officials and the state’s congressional delegation, and that ‘Booker has been one of the leading advocates to get water infrastructure leg over the goal line. We have talked to our federal delegation and will continue to’.
Speaking on the local city government in Newark, Murphy said that he’s been working with the administration of Mayor Ras Baraka ‘across a whole range of interest from moment one as governor’ and that he believes ‘with all my heart’ that ‘the mayor and his team wake up with the right intentions to do the right things’.
He added that ‘there are significant unknowns here, not just in Newark, we at the moment are aggressively trying to get more data points to better inform. Stay the course, when in doubt, take some of the bottled water’.