It’s been 10 years since New Jersey voters changed the state constitution to create the position of lieutenant governor. Lawmakers at the time said they wanted a clear line of gubernatorial succession in the executive branch for when a governor resigns, is ill, or is temporarily out-of-state.
Before 2005, the Senate president — who had no statewide mandate — would assume the role of governor, sometimes leading the state Senate and the administration. That’s what happened after Govs. Christine Todd Whitman and Jim McGreevey resigned and state Sens. Donald DiFrancesco and Richard Codey assumed the governorship.