A pair of political action committees were announced on Feb. 7 that could boost Gov. Phil Murphy’s nationwide presence amid intense speculation about whether he’s eyeing a presidential run.
Senior staffer Dan Bryan — a previous spokesperson for Murphy’s office — will leave the administration on March 1 to be the chief executive officer for the PAC and nonprofit advocacy group, both named Stronger Fairer Forward. The chair for both groups will be First Lady Tammy Murphy.
“Though we’ve come far, there is still much more work to be done,” the First Lady said on Monday. “These organizations will advocate for policies and candidates to further strengthen our economy and provide opportunity for all. Now is the time for action.”
Phil Murphy’s reelection campaign manager, Mollie Binotto, will also sit on the board for both groups.
As a 501(c)4, these groups can raise unlimited cash for particular issues, but cannot support any particular candidate.
The group will have a national focus on “protecting and reinforcing our democracy from the ongoing nationwide assault on election officials and state election laws,” reads the Monday statement.
Murphy has repeatedly stressed that he has no intentions to run for president, but it hasn’t stopped widespread speculation about a potential 2024 bid. He’s slated to be chair of the National Governors Association this year, and chair of the Democratic Governors Association next year.
“I’m not running. I’m not running. Jesus, lord, help me,” he previously told NJ.com.
Murphy’s predecessor Republican Gov. Chris Christie launched a PAC in 2015, the year before his presidential bid, but backed out of the race early in the primaries. His frequent campaigning in New Hampshire and Iowa helped tank Christie’s approval rating in New Jersey.