2. Judith Persichilli
Commissioner of health
State of New Jersey
Leaders of health systems speak with reverence about how she has helped organize the state’s response to the pandemic.
3. George Helmy
Chief of staff
You can call him the CEO of the state. He works tirelessly with elected and business officials to implement the policy — and vision — of his boss.
4. Ken Frazier
When you ask Murphy’s insiders which business leader has provided the most counsel and guidance, they all point to Frazier.
5. Alex Gorsky
Chair & CEO
Johnson & Johnson
He has been another go-to source of information on all things vaccines — and, when the J&J vaccine is available, it will change the pace of vaccinations.
The 2020 Top 10:
- Phil Murphy; Steve Sweeney
- George Norcross
- Ralph Izzo
- Don Ghermezian
- Loretta Weinberg
- Chris Paladino
- Jeff Bezos
- Barry Ostrowsky
- Bob Garrett
- Tammy Murphy
6. U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez
Has been a leader on the Gateway Tunnel project and — now that the Democrats have taken the Senate — will be one of its most influential members.
7. Gurbir Grewal
State of New Jersey
Has effectively led the state on all legal matters — and there have been plenty — during the pandemic.
8. Marie Blistan; Hetty Rosenstein
President; New Jersey director
New Jersey Education Association; Communications Workers of America
Murphy wears his support for unions as a badge of honor. The heads of the teachers union and state workers have had — and will continue to have — huge influence on how the state returns to school and to work.
9. George Norcross
Conner Strong & Buckelew
He has had his scraps with Murphy, but the perennial power player continues to be a leading influencer in Camden and throughout South Jersey.
10. Steve Sweeney; Craig Coughlin
Senate president; Assembly speaker
The influence of these legislative leaders has been lessened due to state of emergency proclamations, but it is still strong — as evidenced by negotiations over borrowing, cannabis, incentives and, soon, the budget.