NEWARK NJ - Essex County Democrats today endorsed Phil Murphy for Governor of New Jersey on Friday morning.

Among the Montclair leaders present for the endorsement announcement, were Senator Nia Gill, Assemblyman Tom Giblin, Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson, Councilor Dr. Renee Baskerville, and Montclair Democratic Chair and Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill.

The endorsement was led by Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoyJones. Also in attendance were Congressman Donald Payne Jr., Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Essex County Executive Joseph "Joe D" DiVincenzo.

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“Today we are witnessing the Democratic Party coming together in historic fashion. Today we have the opportunity to leave a positive impression so that when people look back they will say we got New Jersey right,” Murphy said.

“Having my campaign headquarters just a few blocks from here is no mistake. I look forward to working with you to make Newark and Essex County an economic engine for new businesses and job creation that will lift people out of poverty and into the middle class. I want to work with you to create ratables, stabilize taxes, and make our streets safe. Our future starts here because, as Newark and Essex County go, so goes the State of New Jersey,” he added.

“The Essex County Democratic Committee is proud to place our support behind Phil Murphy for Governor. He has the energy, ideas and commitment that are needed to lead New Jersey,” Jones said. “We are pleased to be joined by elected officials from all levels of government today. It displays the enthusiasm and unified front that Essex has for Phil,” he added.

Essex County Freeholder Cynthia Toro said "the next governor must restore New Jersey's economy by strengthening the middle class while uplifting the urban communities. I am confident that Phil Murphy will prevail and be a governor of the people and for the people."

Murphy hails from Monmouth county and grew up in a family that he described as "middle class on a good day." After putting himself through university at Harvard, and later the Wharton School of Business, Never one to forget his roots, Murphy spends countless hours working with organizations that help those in most need including troubled teens and victims of domestic abuse. Murphy has even served on the board of the NAACP. 

The event took place in front of the historic courthouse in Newark NJ. 


Natalie Heard Hackett contributed to this article.