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Democratic Governors Select Gov. Roy Cooper As Next DGA Chair

From the Chair’s Desk

Gov. Phil Murphy Selected As Vice Chair and Chair-Elect for 2022, Chair in 2023

Today, America’s Democratic governors voted to elect North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to serve as the new Chair of the Democratic Governors Association for 2022. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will serve as Vice Chair and Chair-Elect for 2022 and Chair in 2023. The vote occurred at the DGA’s Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“I am honored to lead the Democratic Governors Association, and I join my fellow governors in extending thanks to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for her outstanding leadership this past year,” said DGA Chair Gov. Roy Cooper. “With Gov. Lujan Grisham at the helm, the DGA bucked the historical trend in New Jersey to re-elect Gov. Phil Murphy and fought off a recall effort in California, marking the seventh consecutive cycle that the DGA has successfully defended every incumbent. We know we have tough races ahead in 2022, but our record of success is clear. We’ve proven we can win anywhere — whether it’s presidential battlegrounds or states Trump won by 30 points — and we’re going to prove it again in 2022.”

“I am thrilled to return to DGA leadership and take on this role,” said DGA Vice Chair Gov. Phil Murphy. “With 36 governor’s races next year, we believe our Democratic incumbents are in a strong position for re-election, and we have multiple opportunities to flip Republican seats. We’ve been preparing for this type of cycle since 2019, and our incumbents and candidates are well-positioned to win because of the work they have put in to date. I look forward to working with Gov. Cooper to ensure the DGA has the resources necessary to be competitive everywhere, so we can continue to emphasize how Democratic governors deliver on the kitchen table issues that directly impact Americans’ daily lives. That’s how we’ve won tough races before, and it’s how we will win again in 2022.” 

BACKGROUND

Gov. Roy Cooper made history in 2016 when he became the first challenger since 1850 to defeat a sitting North Carolina Governor and was re-elected in 2020. Gov. Cooper has spent nearly three decades in public service, including 16 years as Attorney General, protecting families, keeping communities safe, and working to create jobs and improve schools.

As governor of North Carolina, Gov. Cooper has announced tens of thousands of new jobs across the state, worked to fight workplace discrimination, and launched a Clean Energy Plan to create good-paying jobs, increase the use of renewable energy, and fight climate change. From his first day in office, Gov. Cooper has fought for better teacher pay and funding for classrooms, expanded pre-kindergarten programs, and re-established the Teaching Fellows Program to recruit and support highly qualified teachers in North Carolina. Gov. Cooper worked across party lines to combat the opioid crisis in the state and continues to fight tirelessly for Medicaid expansion.

Gov. Cooper served in the North Carolina House of Representatives and the North Carolina Senate before being elected as Attorney General in 2000.

Gov. Phil Murphy has been called a “pro-growth progressive” for his commitment to creating a fairer, stronger, and future-focused New Jersey economy. This year, he made history by being the first Democratic governor re-elected in New Jersey in over 40 years.

Since taking office in January 2018, Governor Murphy has raised the minimum wage, enacted strong paid family leave and equal pay laws, made health care more affordable, and has finally put the Garden State on a path to fully funding public schools. Under his leadership, New Jersey is a national leader on gun safety, and the state is moving towards renewable energy. He previously served as DGA Chair in 2020.

Prior to running for office, Governor Murphy served as United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany under President Barack Obama. Gov. Murphy has served on numerous non-profit boards and has led a national task force on the future of education.

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