Booker official formally named Murphy’s chief of staff

George Helmy, who has served as U.S. Cory Booker’s state director for the past three years, is joining Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration as chief of staff, the Governor’s Office announced Friday.

Helmy succeeds acting chief of staff Kathleen Frangione, who will return to her regular role as Murphy’s chief policy adviser. Frangione has served in the role since the departure earlier this month of Pete Cammarano, Murphy’s original chief of staff.

“I’m thrilled to announce George Helmy as my next chief of staff,” Murphy said in a prepared statement. “George is uniquely equipped to help lead our team as we begin our second year in office. His mix of state and federal experience, management skills and deep relationships with elected officials and political leaders make him the perfect fit for the job.”

The chief of staff oversees all operations of the Governor’s Office and Executive Branch, including the cabinet and agencies.

“I’ve seen (Helmy’s) leadership on projects ranging from the Gateway Program to Homeland Security funding to the all-important constituent relations, and I know he’ll bring creative and wise solutions to every challenge he encounters,” Murphy said.

Before overseeing operations of Booker’s New Jersey offices, Helmy was the senator’s deputy chief of staff in the state office for two years. He also previously served as an aide to U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

“I can’t think of a better fit to lead Gov. Murphy’s team than George Helmy,” Booker (D-N.J.) said in a statement. “With his vast experience in both the public and private sector, and an unmatched intellect and work ethic, George is uniquely qualified for this incredible opportunity.”

Helmy will take on the post as of Feb. 4.

“I am honored to serve as chief of staff to Gov. Murphy,” he said in a statement. “The governor is committed to making New Jersey a better, more affordable place to live and work. … Now, I have the privilege of continuing to make that vision a reality as his chief of staff.”

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