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 extraordinary circumstances…

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 immigrants.

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 time.

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 impossible.

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 service.

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 party.

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 our help.

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 Governor….

I am consider myself to be a very fortunate man.

Thank you.

  January 31, 2005