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Murphy and Sweeney: NJ Politics’ Great Divide

‘Festering feud’ between two most powerful pols in New Jersey gets uglier

The Murphy-Sweeney divide got a little wider Thursday after Senate President Steve Sweeney pulled two cabinet nominations from Thursday’s Senate board list.

Lamont Repollet is Murphy’s pick to be education commissioner. Zakiya Smith Ellis is his choice for secretary of higher education.

Sweeney said Wednesday he didn’t like some of the answers they gave on issues. That’s a real slap at Murphy, since both nominees had been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Thursday, at an event in Montclair on neighborhood investment, Murphy provided his reaction. Had it been Chris Christie, there might have been fighting words, but that’s not Murphy.

“There’s no reason not to confirm these folks … Folks need to look up Lamont Repollet and Zakia Smith Ellis because we have two African-American Ph.D.s in our nominated Cabinet,” he said. “It is the most diverse Cabinet ever nominated in our state, and it’s the most diverse Cabinet in the country.”

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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