Former NJ Governor Jim Florio dies at 85

Governor James J. FlorioJim Florio, former Governor of New Jersey died last night at the age of 86. He was a lifelong public servant who also served as a congressman and state assemblyman. Governor Florio was also a veteran of the Navy and an amateur boxer.

Reaction from those who knew him and served alongside him is coming in… Governor Phil Murphy said “Governor Florio was a fighter who never backed down. He was a leader who cared more about the future of New Jersey than his own political fortunes. And he was also a friend whose kind counsel was invaluable to me and countless others across our state.”

He was first elected to state office in the late 60’s in Camden County, the in 1974 he was elected to congress.  He is the author of the Superfund legislation which was aimed at cleaning up some of the most polluted sites in the Country. Then in 1989 he was elected Governor during extremely tough financial times and was forced to raise taxes – that decision cost him re-election.  However, colleagues still respected him and are today praising him for leadership.

Governor Florio’s law partner, Doug Steinhardt, initially reported the news of his friend’s death via Twitter: “Governor Florio passed away last night comforted by family & friends. Our partnership was a constant reminder to me that ppl can disagree on fundamental tenets of gov’t & politics, but still be civil & still be friends. I will miss him.”

New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., released the following statement: “Governor Jim Florio was a consummate public servant who rose from humble, working class beginnings to devote his life to making the State of New Jersey a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Governor Murphy has signed an executive order for flags to fly at half staff.

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