If elected, I will not serve

One of the most interesting footnotes to New Jersey gubernatorial politics is Garret Wall, who was elected Governor in 1829 but declined to serve. A War of 1812 veteran, Wall was elected to the State Assembly in 1827 (from Burlington County) and served a single one-year term. A leader in the 1828 campaign to elect Andrew Jackson as President, he was elected Governor when the Jacksonians won control of the Legislature, but said he was too busy to take the job and not interested in getting involved in state politics. Later that year, he accepted an appointment by Jackson as the United States Attorney. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1834 but lost his bid for a second term in 1840. His son, James Wall, was elected Mayor of Burlington City in 1850, after initially declining the Democratic nomination for Congress. According to the Burlington website, “in 1861, he became aware that some of his letters to friends in the southern states, opposing the Civil War, were being censored by the postmaster general, and wrote a letter protesting this censorship. He was accused of treason and arrested at his home, though not without a fight — he threw at least one constable across a room before being restrained.” He was appointed to the United States Senate in 1863, but lost his bid to win the seat in his own right. Garrett Wall’s daughter married Peter Vroom, who had become Governor in 1829 — the legislature’s second choice.

If elected, I will not serve