TRENTON — Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal was nominated by Gov.-elect Phil Murphy to be the state attorney general.

Murphy made the announcement Tuesday morning at the Statehouse.

"I am truly honored to nominate Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal to the position of Attorney General. If confirmed, he will be the first Sikh-American Attorney General in American history. Thank you, Gurbir, for accepting the call to serve NJ," Murphy said in message on Twitter.

Murphy in a statement foreshadowing expected battles with the Trump administration said Grewal is an attorney general with a "steel backbone" who will stand up for New Jersey "against everything coming our way from Washington" because he believes governors and their attorney generals have never mattered nore.

"Whether it be addressing our opioid epidemic head-on with compassion and persistence, fighting to protect New Jerseyans’ health care against the constant threats from Washington, standing up for DREAMers and our LGBT community, or defending New Jersey’s common-sense gun laws, there will be no more critical post in my administration than attorney general," Murphy said

Grubir said he was honored to be nominated and said he shared with Murphy the goal of building a "fairer New Jersey."

"To me, that means protecting the rights of every resident under the law, and defending the values of our diverse communities. I look forward to helping Governor-elect Murphy make his vision for New Jersey a reality.”

Grubir said his nomination represents the American Dream. "The notion that regardless of what you look like, how you worship, where you come from, what your gender is, who you love, that if you’re willing to work hard, each of us will have the opportunity to achieve success and prosperity.”

The Legislature will have to approve the appointment.

It will be Murphy's second cabinet position announcement. He will appoint Lt. Gov.-elect Sheila Oliver as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.

Grewal would be the first Sikh to hold the position.

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudin said in a statement is "thrilled" for the Grewal's nomination. "As a career law enforcement officer, I know first hand how Prosecutor Grewal has made Bergen County a model for law enforcement. Bergen County’s loss is New Jersey’s gain."

Sean Rankin, executive director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association, said the group is "thrilled" at his nomination.

"His strong track record of tackling corruption, protecting consumers, and focusing on cyber security will translate well into the office of the Attorney General. Grewal’s selection is a step toward the People’s lawyers truly reflecting the people they serve, as he will be the first Sikh state Attorney General in the United States. We look forward to working with him, and we encourage the New Jersey Senate to move swiftly to confirm his appointment," Rankin said in a statement.

Grewal was appointed to the position of prosecutor by Gov. Chris Christie in January 2016 to succeed John Molinelli. Before that, Grewal served as Assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey from 2010 to 2016.

Murphy will also appoint Grewal's successor.

Michael Symons contributed to this report

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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