Governor Chris Christie continued the transition of the Executive Branch of New Jersey’s State Government back to the Democratic Party today with his announcement that Charles A. Richman will become Acting Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs on Friday when current Commissioner, Richard Constable, leaves government service after 13 years. Christie’s announcement said that Richman will be formally nominated to succeed Constable in the Commissioner’s post.
Richman, a career New Jersey bureaucrat with 40 years experience, served in the cabinets of Governor Brendan Byrne and Governor Richard Codey, on a acting basis.
Throughout his second term as Governor, Christie has appointed high profile Democrats to fill cabinet level and other important goverment positions when vacancies have occurred.
John J. Degnan, Christie’s choice to replace David Samson as as Chairman of the Port Authority of NY/NJ last year, was New Jersey’s youngest ever Attorney General when he served in the Byrne Administration. Degnan ran in the Democratic primary for Governor in 1981, losing to nomination to Congressman Jim Florio, who went on to lose narrowly to Thomas Kean, Sr.
James P. “Jamie” Fox became New Jersey’s Commissioner of Transportation last September, replacing James Simpson, a veteran President George W. Bush’s federal Department of Transportation. Fox was a long time aide to former Senator Robert Torricelli while “the Torch” served in both houses of Congress. He was the Executive Director of the Democratic Senatorial Committee while Torricelli was its chairman. Fox was Governor Jim McGreevey’s Transportation Commissioner and Chief of Staff. Following McGreevey’s resignation, Fox became Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of NY/NJ. Fox was a Senior Adviser to the Obama for President “Hope and Change” campaign in 2008.
In December of last year, Christie appointed Susan McCue, Senator Harry Reid’s former Chief of Staff, to the Board of Governors of Rutgers. McCue is the founder and co-chair of Reid’s Senate Majority PAC and on the board of American Bridge 21st Century SuperPAC. American Bridge produces opposition research and negative video ads about Republican prospects for the presidency in 2016, including Christie.
Mark A. Angelson, of New York City, was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Mayor’s Economic, Budgetary, and Business Development Council in 2012. Angelson was also appointed to the Rutgers Board of Governors by Christie last December.