In a speech that received a lukewarm review from attendees at the New Jersey League of Municipalities conference, Gov.-elect Phil Murphy reiterated campaign promises and discussed key ideas, without any additional information on how any would be implemented in his new administration.
He promised to address issues in the state with the same optimism and enthusiasm with which he ran his campaign.
“New Jersey is poised to be the comeback story of this nation,” he told the crowd.
Speaking to the many mayors and state leaders present at the lunch event, Murphy said that success would rely heavily on finding common ground for troubling policy areas.
“I do not come to the governorship claiming remotely to have all the answers, but I know where to find them. I will rely heavily on all of you in this room to move forward,” Murphy said, adding that he and Lt. Gov.-elect Sheila Oliver will have decades of experience to tap into.
Murphy said that it doesn’t feel like he has been governor-elect for nine days, and that taking the oath of office in 61 days to be the state’s 56th governor is “an awesome responsibility.”
“I ran because I wanted to be part of the solution, not be someone on the sidelines complaining,” he said.
He reiterated his message of unity, saying that there is no Democratic or Republican way to pick up trash, nor are there Republican police cars or Democratic fire trucks.
Murphy also said he wants to see New Jersey re-emerge as a progressive leader in the country.
“It drives me crazy to read about Boston or North Carolina as the new high-tech hub, when New Jersey was Silicon Valley before Silicon Valley,” he said. “I want to rebuild the state from the bottom up and the middle out.”