TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy will be vice chairman of the National Governors Association for the coming year and is in line to be its leader the following year – assuming he wins re-election.

Governors voted Wednesday on the group’s leaders. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, will move up from vice chairman to chairman.

“I'm honored to serve as incoming Vice Chair of @NatlGovsAssoc alongside a leader on many bipartisan initiatives, incoming Chair @AsaHutchinson,” Murphy said on Twitter. “I look forward to working with him and fellow governors to address our nation's most pressing issues.”

Unlike the Democratic and Republicans governors associations, which advocate for candidates and sometimes helps bankroll election campaigns, the NGA is a bipartisan group that advocates for issues of general concern to states.

“I look forward to working even closer with Gov. Murphy as he becomes vice chair of the National Governors Association,” Hutchinson said in a statement to The Hill, which was first to report the selection. “Gov. Murphy showed a steady hand of leadership during the pandemic and has proven he can work across the aisle to get things done.”

“I look forward to working with fellow governors of both parties on issues such as recovery from the pandemic, infrastructure, the opioid crisis, broadband expansion, and workforce development,” Murphy said.

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Murphy chaired the Democratic Governors Association last year.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at

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