Jersey: Where the Lieutenant Governor Actually Supplanted the Governor


Owing mostly to Governor Chris Christie’s decision to muzzle the state’s second in command and his own insistence on being the only projecting voice in his administration, insiders view the office of Lieutenant Governor with some skepticism in this state.

Now, New Jersey this week awaits the decisions by Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Kim Guadagno (the state’s first LG, under Christie) regarding their choices for lieutenant governor, with the back drama mostly drawing groans of weariness over the office’s inherent lack of power.

But if LG as a concept elicits a power drain in New Jersey, the Lieutenant Governor title means something different in Jersey.

Since 1856, with the death of the island’s last governor, Lord Beresford, the British dependency has been formally and constitutionally represented only by a succession of Lieutenant Governors. The LG even gets his own flag, and serves as de facto head of the Bailiwick of Jersey. Having assumed office earlier this year, Air Marshal Chief Sir Stephen Gary George Dalton is Jersey’s current Lieutenant Governor, serving without the interference or ego of a governor.

Dalton’s power is a little deceiving, however.

For while he doesn’t have a governor over him, he answers to the monarch of the United Kingdom.


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