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CAG News & Alerts

New Report on Gubernatorial Transitions

Posted at 5:53 pm July 18, 2017, in 2017 Elections, NJ Governors, U.S. Governors

TransitionReportCover250Eagleton’s Center on the American Governor is pleased today to release a report on an often overlooked and underappreciated part of the democratic process in the states: the transition to a new governor. The report includes recommendations for the candidates to consider both in the months leading up to Election Day and in the 10 weeks between the election and the inauguration.

It also includes illuminating recollections and experiences from officials involved in the seven gubernatorial transitions that took place in New Jersey over the past 36 years—from the election of Brendan Byrne in 1973 through the most recent transition, from Governor Jon Corzine to Governor Chris Christie in 2009-10. These reflections, advice and anecdotes are the history upon which the report’s recommendations are based. Reading them yields insight into the upcoming transition process and a window into New Jersey history.

Finally, the report contains appendices with extended comments from Governors Byrne, Kean, Florio, and Whitman and key members of their transition teams and administrations, as well as timelines from each of the past six transitions and charts of each governor’s early executive orders.

All elections are important, but this gubernatorial election comes at a particularly crucial time in New Jersey’s history. It is important that the next governor—whoever it is—gets off to a strong and productive start. A smooth, efficient transition is a key to that success. We hope this report will help the next governor navigate this sometimes difficult time period—and that the public will gain a better understanding of the opportunities that can seized and missteps  that can be avoided during this crucial time.