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There were some puzzled looks – and even mild displays of irritation – in Middlesex tonight, even as people rose out of their chairs to give Governor Phil Murphy a standing ovation.
It was the reorganization meeting, just one on Murphy’s continuing soft shoe circuit.
He also surfaced in Millburn, joining another NJ governor for the local festivities.
It proved the final stop for Governor Murphy on his swearing-in tour.
Shown (l-r), newly sworn in Millburn Mayor Jacqueline Benjamin Lieberberg, Governor Phil Murphy, Township Committeeman Richard Wasserman and former Governor Richard J. Codey.
Also on hand for the ceremonies was Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones, State Senator and Minority Leader Tom Kean and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey.
Among the other key reorganization meetings tonight:
Rumors of the political demise of Essex County Freeholder President Brendan Gill proved greatly exaggerated, as his colleagues tonight returned Gill to a third term upon the board throne.
In an alternative political universe, Gill was supposed to be collateral damage in the state chair’s fight between sitting Chair John Currie and Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones, a consequence of the latter – win or lose – punishing Gill, Governor Phil Murphy’s minder, for backing Currie over himself.
Fundamentally, little changed from the previous year as the freeholders voted to give Anthony Vainieri the chairmanship for the fourth year – the longest stint of any freeholders since Sal Vega’s term in the late 1990s into the early 2000s.
Vainieri was clearly feeling good enough to give his name as Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano when being sworn in by County Executive Tom DeGise, taking it back as the dignitaries filling the chamber laughed.
Romano, who will repeat at Pro Tempe or third in rank behind chairman Vainieri and vice chair, Bill O’Dea, insisted on having DeGise swear him in as well – even though County Clerk Junior Maldonado offered to conduct the ceremony.
- Al Sullivan
- Anthony Romano
- Anthony Vainieri
- Bill O'Dea
- Brendan Gill
- Dick Codey
- Essex County
- Essex County Democrats
- Hudson County
- Hudson County Democrats
- Jackie Lieberman
- John Currie
- Junior Maldonado
- Leroy Jones
- Middlesex County
- Middlesex County Democrats
- Mila Jasey
- Millburn Democrats
- NJ Democrats
- Phil Murphy
- Rich Wasserman
- Tom DeGise
- Tom Kean
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