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Meet the candidates running for New Jersey governor

Irv Randolph | 5/22/2017, 6:34 p.m.
After two terms, Chris Christie will be stepping down. With polls numbers in the low 20s, it is highly unlikely ...
Attorney Jim Johnson is the only African American in the race. - Wikipedia photo

Irv Randolph

Irv Randolph

After two terms, Chris Christie will be stepping down. With polls numbers in the low 20s, it is highly unlikely Christie would get re-elected even if state law allowed him to run for a third term.

On June 6, New Jersey voters will go to the polls and begin the important process of selecting a new governor.

Then in November, New Jersey voters will elect a new governor from among the candidates that emerge victorious from the votes cast in the June primary for their party’s nominee.

The following contains brief biographical snapshots from the websites and news reports of the candidates running for governor in the New Jersey primary.

The Democrats:

Bill Brennan

Bill Brennan is a retired firefighter who holds three educational degrees, a law degree, a social science degree and a fire science degree.

Brennan is a political activist and resides in Wayne.

Jim Johnson

Jim’s family has called New Jersey home for four generations and began serving the state as soon as they arrived.

Jim grew up in Montclair, the second of three children. His father was a Marine veteran and a small businessman. His mother worked as a legal secretary, church organist, and music teacher. Jim earned his undergraduate and law degrees, with honors, from Harvard.

After law school, Jim served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, successfully prosecuting violent drug dealers, white-collar tax evasion, and organized crime.

During the Clinton Administration, Jim served in several senior positions within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He started as an Assistant Secretary and President Clinton asked him to co-chair the National Church Arson Task Force. Later, he served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement, overseeing the operations of one third of federal law enforcement, including the United States Secret Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the United States Customs Service.

At the end of the Clinton years, Jim returned to private practice. In 2009, Jim was selected by a federal judge to oversee the settlement of an affordable housing conflict between the Department of U.S. Housing and Urban Development in Westchester County, NY. His task was to hold officials accountable for fulfilling the terms of the consent decree. He also developed new, collaborative ways for communities to understand and solve the problems of developing and marketing affordable housing.

For seven years, Jim led the Brennan Center for Justice as chair and, at times, co-counsel, working to protect the right to vote, to reduce both crime and incarceration and to advocate for fairness for families facing foreclosure. For two years, Jim led the State of New Jersey’s Advisory Committee on Police Standards, formed to develop a set of proposals to ensure that the State Trooper’s progress in eliminating racial profiling became permanent. His work led to a change in the law that has transformed the relationship between State Troopers and civilian leadership. Adopting a new approach, NJCF contributed to the new policies on police worn body cameras, independent shooting reviews and implicit bias training.