Determined to show that he is not a pariah in South Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy will deliver remarks at U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross’ (D-1) Campaign Kickoff Event on Monday, February 14 at Camden County College.
It’s been a tortured relationship for Murphy, not with the federal rep, but with the region, and the main lynchpins of the party organization.
Murphy warred with the congressman’s brother in the early part of his first term, then patched things up in time to attend a Nancy Pelosi event for U.S. Rep. Norcross as the governor and South Jersey Democrats attempted to repair their rift.
Murphy tried to show good faith with the organization when he issued a public endorsement of the Camden County Democratic Organization’s choice for governor of the City of Camden: Victor Carstraphen.
“Vic Carstarphen has a bold vision to lift up all of Camden’s residents and lead the city toward a brighter future,” Murphy said in a statement in the lead-up to the 2021 Democratic Primary. “From housing and health care to community engagement and public education, he is an energetic thinker with the credibility to unify communities and tackle tough challenges while always putting Camden first. Vic is the right leader at the right time to serve as Mayor of Camden.”
The Camden County Democratic Organization had seen the endorsement coming weeks earlier, and in the lead-up to the election blanketed the downbeat city with Murphy’s name on Carstarphen mailers.
But it was never a good fit, and when power broker George Norcross’ chief ally in state government, Steve Sweeney, lost his reelection effort last year, Sweeney allies grumbled about Murphy dragging the state too far to the left and contributing to the former senate president’s demise.
Daring to enter the lion’s den in Blackwood, Murphy will try – at the very least – to make it look like he and South Jersey can stand on the same stage.