“The True Test of Leadership is how well you function in a crisis.”
On March 4, 2020 Governor Phil Murphy underwent surgery to remove cancerous tumors in his kidneys. After making an immediate and full recovery, Governor Murphy has been on the frontline leading the fight against COVID-19. Although the surgery left him at-risk, he has done everything possible to keep New Jerseyans out of harm’s way.
The Murphy Administration’s response to the pandemic has been a model for nation to emulate. He launched the Community Contact Tracing Corps, made testing more accessible, and worked with FEMA to set up community-based vaccination centers in underserved areas.
Moreover, he and his team focused on inclusive economic recovery by directing hundreds of millions of federal dollars into small business grants, child care support, rental assistance, and food insecurity.
A testament to his remarkable resilience has been his awe-inspiring ability to communicate clearly, credibly, and candidly with his constituents. He demonstrates formidable fortitude during his daily updates especially when he informs us about how many blessed souls we have lost during this crucible. Furthermore, Governor Murphy’s effective information-sharing skills are reminiscent of FDR’s Fireside Chats.
A contemporary of President Franklin Roosevelt, the renowned and redoubtable British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “If you are going through hell, keep going!”
Impressively, Governor Murphy has kept going. He has been tested and shown that he can be trusted.
In the face of this crisis, he still has been able to deliver on his promise to create a stronger and fairer New Jersey. Working with the state legislature he has raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, legalized marijuana for recreational use, and garnered approval for his new incentives to stimulate economic growth in urban centers such as Paterson. In fact, he successfully allocated an additional $20 million in state tax credits to help us to bring the historic Hinchliffe Stadium back to life.
When Governor Murphy took the oath of office on January 16, 2018, he used the same leather-bound Bible that President John F. Kennedy used during his inauguration in 1961.
While being sworn-in 3 years ago, Governor Murphy would have never imagined that he would be leading our state during a once-in-a-century pandemic but even JFK would agree that our Governor has been a venerable Profile in Courage throughout this tumultuous time.
During the 2017 Gubernatorial election, Mr. Murphy often used the reassuring refrain, “I’ve got your back.” Throughout this ordeal he has gone beyond having our backs, he kept us safe and his actions have saved lives.
It is never wise to change leaders during a war especially a wartime leader like Governor Murphy. Consequently, it would be prudent to reward Governor Murphy with another term. He is battle-tested and battle-trusted. Therefore, I am honored to endorse him for re-election.
Andre Sayegh is the Mayor of Paterson.