Phil Murphy, as he says, “grew up in a family that was middle class on a good day.” That has shaped Phil’s values, his priorities, and the kind of governor he will be.
Religion, basic values, work ethic, education, and civic awareness were pillars of family life. His father never graduated from high school, his mother worked as a secretary; they inspired Phil and his three siblings to pursue their educations and be active participants in civic life.
Phil put himself through Harvard on loans and part-time jobs. After earning a graduate degree at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, he started his career at the bottom, working his way up to help lead a major international business by learning how economies grow and create jobs.
Phil has helped lead local charities to support troubled teens and domestic abuse survivors, and these groups have changed thousands of lives for the better. Nationally, Phil served proudly as New Jersey’s sole representative on the board of the NAACP, the world’s oldest civil rights organization. He served as Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee, helping Howard Dean on the “Fifty-State Strategy” that rebuilt the Democratic Party from the grassroots up; that effort helped return Congress to Democratic hands in 2006 and elect President Barack Obama in 2008. Phil also has led national and state task forces on education and public employee pensions and benefits.
In 2009, Phil answered President Obama’s call to service and became the U.S. Ambassador to Germany after his confirmation by the U.S. Senate. After returning home in 2013, Phil and his wife, Tammy, saw our state falling behind. They couldn’t sit by and watch hard working families struggling to stay even, much less get ahead. They founded New Start New Jersey as a “think and do” organization to rebuild the state’s economy from the middle class out — New Start New Jersey partnered with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University to create the New Start Career Network, which is helping older, long-term unemployed residents once again actively compete for good jobs.
As governor, Phil will make New Jersey more fair and just for all residents. His vision would grow the middle class and jumpstart the state’s economy by targeting investments in people and infrastructure, reclaiming New Jersey’s mantle as a center of the STEM and innovation economies, protecting working families by raising the minimum wage and expanding earned sick leave for all, and protecting the middle class with real tax fairness.
Phil and Tammy live in Monmouth County and are the parents of Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam.
“I am an optimist. I believe New Jersey’s best days are before us and that our future is unlimited."
— Phil Murphy
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