Wall Street Executive Sworn in as New Jersey Governor, Replacing Chris Christie

Phil Murphy opposes President Donald Trump on health care, immigration and taxes

What to Know

  • The Garden State is saying farewell to Republican Gov. Chris Christie and hello to Democrat Phil Murphy
  • Murphy, the former Obama administration diplomat and businessman, will take the oath of office Tuesday in Trenton
  • Murphy opposes Trump on health care, immigration and taxes and promises to raise taxes on millionaires and legalize recreational marijuana

Former Wall Street executive Phil Murphy became New Jersey's governor Tuesday, taking the oath on the same Bible that President John F. Kennedy was sworn in on, as he replaced Republican Gov. Chris Christie. 

Murphy, 60, succeeds Christie after two terms, returning full control of state government to Democrats and promising to take a much different approach toward President Donald Trump's policies. 

While Christie was a friend and ally, Murphy built his campaign — his first run for elected office— around undoing the Trump administration's efforts on health care, immigration and taxes. 

"We will resist every move from President Trump and a misguided Republican Congress," Murphy said in his inaugural address. 

Hinting at Trump's reported vulgar comments last week about immigration, Murphy called the country a "beacon of light" for immigrants including those from Haiti and Africa. 

"We will resist any attempt to define who is and who isn't a real American," he said. 

Murphy's inaugural address was unabashedly liberal, calling for the wealthy to pay higher taxes, more funding for Planned Parenthood and a $15 minimum wage. He said that his vision for a "stronger and fairer" New Jersey includes criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization. 

Murphy's wife, Tammy, and their four children joined him on stage as he was sworn in by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Murphy's running mate, former Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, was sworn in as lieutenant governor. 

A salute of cannons then went off outside of the ceremony at the grand War Memorial in Trenton and Murphy went down a line of officials shaking hands. 

He hugged Christie and then praised his work addressing the opioid crisis and his role as a father. He thanked him for over two decades of public service to the state. Christie served as the U.S. attorney in New Jersey before he ran for governor. 

The new governor earned his fortune, which he used to help win the Democratic nomination last year, as an executive at Goldman Sachs. The last Democratic governor, Jon Corzine, who Christie ousted in 2009, was also an executive at Goldman Sachs. 

Murphy, who like Kennedy grew up in Massachusetts, also served several years under the Obama administration as ambassador to Germany. 

He takes over from a larger-than-life governor who oversaw the state as its economy rebounded but who also saw his popularity plunge after a failed presidential run and the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal. 

Murphy inherits a state with growing pension obligations and nearly perennial budget woes. He's said he would bring in new leadership at New Jersey Transit, the state's beleaguered commuter rail and bus agency, and has said the state faces a "fiscal crisis." 

He also allies himself with unions and says he will increase payments into the state pension system and school aid. 

An inaugural ball Tuesday night was to be held under a tent at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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