Governor of New Jersey

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New Jersey Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $6,013,000
Term limits:  Two consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  New Jersey Constitution, Article V, Section I
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Name:  Chris Christie
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 19, 2010
Compensation:  $175,000
Other New Jersey Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerComptrollerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerCommissioner of Environmental ProtectionLabor CommissionerPublic Utilities Board
The Governor of the State of New Jersey is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office and only elected statewide office in New Jersey. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

As of April 2015, New Jersey is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

See also: New Jersey State Legislature, New Jersey House of Representatives, New Jersey State Senate

Current officer

The 55th and current governor is Chris Christie, a Republican first elected in 2009. Christie was re-elected on November 5, 2013 to serve for an additional 4 years.


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article V, the Executive.

Under Article V, Section I:

The executive power shall be vested in a Governor.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Candidates for governor must be:

  • at least 30 years old
  • a U.S. citizen for at least 20 years
  • a resident of New Jersey for at least seven years

No governor shall hold office in any other state or under the federal government, nor shall a sitting governor be elected to any legislative seat. Governors who accept any state or federal position or profit are considered to have vacated their seat.


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article V, Section I, paragraph 6.

If the governor's office becomes vacant through resignation, removal, or death, then the Lieutenant Governor succeeds to the office.

If a Governor-elect dies, the Lieutenant Governor-elect takes office as the Governor.

After the Lieutenant Governor, the President of the Senate, followed by the Speaker of the General Assembly complete the Constitutionally prescribed line of succession.

The same line order applies if a Governor is absent or temporarily unable to discharge the office, as well as when the Governor-elect fails to qualify. In such cases, the Acting Governor serves until the absence, disqualification, or illness ends. The Acting Governor shall have all the "functions, powers, duties, and emoluments" of the governor's office.

If the governor has been absent or disqualified for six months, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, upon receipt on a concurrent resolution from the General Assembly, shall declare the office to be vacant.

The office shall be filled by an Acting Governor is less than one year remains in the current term; otherwise a special election is called.


New Jersey

The governor of New Jersey is considered one of the most powerful governorships in the nation as it is currently the only state-wide (non-federal) elected office in the state. Thus, unlike many other states that have elections for some cabinet-level positions, under the New Jersey State Constitution the governor appoints the entire cabinet, subject to confirmation by the New Jersey Senate.

The governor is charged with faithfully upholding and executing the laws of New Jersey, a power that includes enforcing all Constitutional and statutory mandates as well as restraining actions. New Jersey's governor is also the commander-in-chief of the militia.

He nominates all general and flag officers and the state militia and has ultimate authority for seeing that the state's militia is properly trained.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Granting all commissions given to elected and appointed officers
  • Nominating officers to all appointed positions not otherwise provided for and making appointments, with the consent of the Senate
  • Convening the entire legislature or the Senate for extraordinary sessions
  • Vetoing bills subject to a super-majority override in the legislature
  • Granting pardons and reprieves, excluding cases of treason and impeachment


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Governor of New Jersey has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

State budget

Role in state budget

See also: New Jersey state budget and finances

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[1][2]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August.
  2. State agency requests are submitted in October.
  3. Agency hearings are held in November and December.
  4. Public hearings are held in March and June.
  5. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the New Jersey State Legislature on or before the fourth Tuesday in February.
  6. The legislature adopts a budget in June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
  7. The fiscal year begins July 1.

New Jersey is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[2]

The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. In turn, the legislature is also constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget.[2]

Governor's office budget

The budget for the Executive Office of the Governor in Fiscal Year 2013 was $6,013,000.[3]


New Jersey state government organizational chart

New Jersey belongs to the handful of states that hold off-year elections, that is, elections in off-numbered years that are neither presidential nor midterm years. In New Jersey's case, elections are held in the year after a presidential and before a midterm; thus, 2017, 2021, 2025 and 2029 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the inauguration is always held the third Tuesday in the January after an election.

New Jersey was, prior to the creation of the lieutenant governor's office, one of only three states, the others being Hawaii and Tennessee, where the Governor is the only statewide elected office.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

New Jersey governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait four years before being eligible to run again.

New Jersey Constitution, Article V, Section 1, Paragraph 5

No person who has been elected Governor for two successive terms, including an unexpired term, shall again be eligible for that office until the third Tuesday in January of the fourth year following the expiration of the second successive term.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of New Jersey State Governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of New Jersey Partisanship.PNG

Full history


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of the governor and lieutenant governor are established by the New Jersey State Legislature as mandated by the state constitution. Article V, Section I, Paragraph 12 of the New Jersey Constitution says the following:[4]

Text of Section I, Paragraph 12:

10. a. The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor shall each receive for services a salary, which shall be neither increased nor diminished during the period for which the Governor or Lieutenant Governor shall have been elected or appointed. b. The Governor shall appoint the Lieutenant Governor to serve as the head of a principal department or other executive or administrative agency of State government, or delegate to the Lieutenant Governor duties of the office of Governor, or both. The Governor shall not appoint the Lieutenant Governor to serve as Attorney General. The Lieutenant Governor shall in addition perform such other duties as may be provided by law.

State executive officers, along with judicial and legislative officials, have not received salary increases since 2002. A seven-member salary commission determined annual pay for state officials from its creation in 1999 until legislators eliminated the commission in 2014. All cabinet officials under the governor's office receive annual salaries of $141,000 as legislators have not approved pay increases since the commission's elimination.[5][6][7]


In 2014, the governor received a salary of $175,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2013, the governor's salary remained at $175,000.[9]


In 2010, the governor was paid $175,000 a year, the 4th highest gubernatorial salary in America.


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, New Jersey
Partisan breakdown of the New Jersey governorship from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, in New Jersey there were Democratic governors in office for 10 years while there were Republican governors in office for 12 years, including the last four.

Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Senate and the New Jersey House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of New Jersey state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

New Jersey was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period.

The chart below depicts the partisanship of New Jersey state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. New Jersey had Republican trifectas from 1994-2001 and Democratic trifectas from 2004-2009. There were four years when New Jersey finished in the top-10, all of those years with Republican trifectas.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 18.67
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 9.75
  • SQLI average with divided government: 21.86
Chart displaying the partisanship of New Jersey government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Historical officeholders

There have been 73 Governors of New Jersey since 1776. Of the 73 officeholders, 23 were Republican, 35 were Democrat, 6 were Jefersonian-Republican, 5 were Federalist, 3 were Whig and 1 is unknown.[10]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "New Jersey" + Governor

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

"New+Jersey"+Governor&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss Governor of New Jersey News Feed

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Contact information

Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

See also

External links

Suggest a link


Portions of this article were adapted from Wikipedia.