NJ Politics Digest: So How Long Was Murphy Out of State in 2018?

Gov. Phil Murphy with his wife Tammy.
Gov. Phil Murphy with his wife Tammy. The governor traveled outside New Jersey more than 100 times during his first year in office, on family trips, political travel and state business. Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Former Gov. Chris Christie left office one of the most unpopular governors in New Jersey history. One reason was that, in his second term, Christie spent a lot of time outside the Garden State as he pursued his presidential ambitions—ultimately in vain.

Gov. Phil Murphy sold himself to voters as the antithesis of his predecessor. But Murphy does seem to share Christie’s predilection for spending time outside New Jersey’s boundaries.

An investigation by NJ Advance Media found that Murphy traveled outside New Jersey more than one in four days during his first year in office. That’s double the amount of time Christie spent outside the state during his first year, when his popularity was high and he hadn’t yet decided to focus on his national ambitions instead of his state responsibilities.

Murphy’s 100 days out of New Jersey in the last year included political travel, family trips and an overseas business mission to Israel and Germany, according to NJ Advance. A Murphy spokesman told NJ Advance most of the governor’s personal time outside of New Jersey came on the weekends, and that more than a third of the weekday travel involved state business.

While Murphy has denied he has presidential ambitions, critics have said the governor has his sites set on a national post, and though Murphy’s time outside the state was hefty, it doesn’t compare to the 261 days in 2015 that Christie spent all or part of the day outside New Jersey during his presidential campaign, the report notes.

Quote of the Day: “Mr. Cammarano asked me if I had any influence with Senator Sweeney and if I could get Steve Sweeney to ease up on him in the legislative investigation into the Alvarez matter,” — State Sen. Jim Beach, on a conversation he says he had with Gov. Phil Murphy’s chief of staff regarding the state legislature’s investigation into the hiring of another highly placed member of Murphy’s administration accused of sexual assault.

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