Short-timers on the NJ League of Municipalities Former Governors Panel

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ByrneKean

Kean. Byrne. Longevity.

On this year’s Former Governors panel at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities this morning at the Atlantic City Convention Center is a Who’s Who of Garden State governors who served less than 2 full terms – from three-and-a-half-days to a single 4-year term. In years past, 2-term governors like Tom Kean (R) and Brendan Byrne (D) shared their wisdom from their many years in Trenton. Not so this year.

  • John Bennett shared his wisdom from his a half a week as governor. Bennett was Acting Governor for 3.5 days in January 2002. Following Gov. Christine Todd Whitman’s resignation to run EPA, Bennett was one of 3 different Senate presidents (Donald DiFrancesco & Richard Codey, also plus AG John Farmer) to serve as Acting Governor for the 1-year period between Whitman’s resignation and Jim McGreevey’s inauguration.
  • Donald DiFrancesco became governor when Whitman resigned from office to join the Bush administration.
    [At the time of Whitman’s resignation, the New Jersey Constitution stipulated that the Senate president retains that position while also serving as acting governor. This made DiFrancesco, in his own words, the most powerful New Jersey governor ever (perhaps the most powerful governor ever) because he was the leader of both the State Senate and executive branch simultaneously. He served from 2001 through 2002, when McGreevey took office].
  • Jim Florio held office from 1989 to 1993 – the only panel member now to hold office for a full single term.
  • Jim McGreevey held office from 2002, through his resignation in November 2004. McGreevey resigned when his affair with Golan Cipel was exposed.

Out of the four panelists, only the Democrats were elected by the people; the Republicans got their moment in the Governor’s Office by constitutional requirements proscribed by the needs at the time.So, this panel of 4 governors had a total experience of less than 7 years. Kean and Byrne each have more experience than all these governors put together. With all due respect to these ex-governors.

 

 

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