STATEMENT OF ACTING GOVERNOR RICHARD J. CODEY
When my ancestors got off a boat
from Ireland … they never could have envisioned …that one day their descendant
would become the Governor of their new home.
It is the greatness of America…
that the son of the local funeral director… a generation removed from Ireland…
could rise to this position.
Now, I came to be Governor under
But this tragic period in our
State’s history has given me a unique opportunity.
This is my chance to repay the
hope and compassion that New Jersey invested … in generation after generation of
In life, each of us is hopefully
given our own moment in the sun.
But a moment is worth only what you do with it….
And I have tried to the best of
my ability… to use my moment wisely… to lead our State through this difficult
I have tried to bring integrity
during a period of scandal.
I have tried to bring calm during
a period of instability.
And I have tried to show that
government can be a force of compassion…and a beacon of hope.
In the past two months, I have put forward an agenda that the people of this State can believe in.
It isn’t driven by polling or
focus groups or political benefit.
It is driven by the values I was
taught and the needs of the citizens I represent.
I am energized by the opportunity
in front of me to make a meaningful contribution to the State I love.
The issues of mental health have
been neglected for too long.
The promise of stem cell research is too close.
And the security of our schools is too important.
Today, these issues are at the
forefront of the public’s attention.
And in the next eleven months, we
must finish what we started.
Any success I have enjoyed, I
credit my family and my staff.
I want to thank my wife and two
sons who stood by me during the ups and downs of a lifetime.
The words class and courage are
tossed around pretty casually…
But my wife embodies both.
Mary Jo, the world needs more
people like you….
And I am so glad New Jersey has
gotten to know the woman I love.
Too often families get forgotten
in the world of politics.
The lost weekends…. the missed games….
the cold and often lonely dinners
is the price paid by political families .
I have worked hard to balance the demands of being Senate President and Acting Governor… with my responsibilities as a husband and a father.
Let me tell you, it is not easy
… and a run for Governor would have made that balance almost
I recently sat down with my
family to discuss what a run for Governor would mean for us.
They have encouraged me… as they
always have… to do what makes me happy.
What makes me happy….
is time with my family,
coaching basketball, dinners with friends, a little golf and of course public
After much deliberation….
I have determined that a run for
Governor is not in the best interests of my family, my fellow citizens and my
I find it impossible to be a good father… a good husband…a good friend ... a good leader in the Senate and a good leader for our State.. if I also tried to be a candidate for Governor…
It is way too much for any one person. God knows this has not been an easy decision for me to reach.
I want to thank my political
friends who have stood by me as I struggled with this decision.
And I want to thank the citizens of this great State.
I have been humbled by the
kindness of strangers that have supported my family and urged me to run.
My decision is made easier by the
knowledge that the Democratic party is in good hands.
Jon Corzine is an honorable and decent man at a time when New Jersey desperately needs both
We are fortunate that a man like
that is so committed to public service.
I know he will make a fine
Governor and I will do everything I can to help him get elected..
Now, the attention must turn from
the intrigue of politics to the substance of policy…. We have an ambitious
agenda that I will fight for with the full power of the offices I hold.
And we have the small issue of a $4 billion deficit that must be closed.
Let me just close by saying, how
blessed I am.
More than most, I understand the
bizarre turn of events that brought me here.
I am so grateful for the
opportunity I have been given.. to help so many people who so desperately need
The fact that I will not be a
candidate for Governor is not a personal disappointment.
It would be a disappointment, if
I had never had been given the opportunity to serve.
And for that opportunity… over
the past thirty years of public service and this fourteen months as
I am consider myself to be a very
January 31, 2005