What do you think of Phil Murphy’s first year as governor?

Three New Jersey residents believe he’s doing such a horrible job that he should be removed from office — and they’ve filed a formal petition to try and make that happen.

Somerset County resident Terry Beck, one of the organizers of the petition, said New Jersey already has the highest taxes in America and we should not be forced through policies enacted by the governor to foot the bill for immigrants here illegally.

Murphy has generally taken a pro-immigration stance — including signing a bill to allow college aid for immigrants in the country without authorization. Such immigrants already qualified for in-state tuition rates under rules put in place during Chris Christie's administration.

She said she also believes Murphy is opposed to allowing legal Jersey residents own a firearm “so there’s really now no protection against criminals, you’re basically just left helpless.”

Murphy has said he supports gun rights, but also supports stricter controls on gun ownership, and signed several new gun laws. Among them: Bills that set out new rules for seizing guns from people deemed to be dangerous, that reduce the allowable ammunition magazine size from 15 rounds to 10, that require background checks for private gun sales and that specify a strict threshold to be met to receive a gun-carry permit.

“If New Jersey continues the road they’re on with Murphy’s plans, all that’s going to happen is there’s going to be lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits," Beck said.

She said New Jersey would one day be a "desert."

Residents right now are leaving quite fast, quite quickly, and it’s either pick up and leave now or get him out," Beck said.

In order to put the question of recalling the governor on the ballot, the petition will need to collect the signatures of at least 25 percent of registered voters in New Jersey — which would mean 1,484,358 people signing it by the end of the year. But Beck believes she can do it.

This petition is not the same as an online petition that has been collecting signatures. Online petitions have no legal standing. Anyone interested in signing the recall petition should contact the organizers through their Facebook page Stop Phil Murphy.

“I’m involved with a lot of people in my life, through charity work, through bikers, through Rolling Thunder, American Legions, VFW’s, my list goes on. I’m never home," Beck said. “If you do it right and you speak about it wherever you go, you take the petition wherever you go and whoever you interact with, it’s amazing how people will just say, 'Don’t even explain. I’ll just sign.'”

She said people are getting the word out about the petition via social media.

At the end of last week Beck along with Patty Hoch and former gubernatorial candidate Monica Bronson filed the necessary paperwork in Trenton to launch the petition. She said many volunteers have already contacted her offering to help, and she expects those numbers to swell in the coming days and weeks.

The governor's office was contacted seeking comment about the petition, but that request was not answered.

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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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