Prof: Sweeney exit anoints Murphy as ‘next gov’ of N.J.

New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney is not running for governor.

In a statement released Thursday, Sweeney said he will not seek the Democratic nomination in 2017.

Sweeney says it is no secret he seriously considered running. But he says “it has become clear Phil Murphy has been able to secure substantial support from Democratic and community leaders” that will make his bid “all but impossible.”

Sweeney says he’ll seek re-election to his state Senate seat.

A leading New Jersey political scientist says state Senate President SteveSweeney’s decision not to run for the Democratic governor’s nomination effectively hands the office to fellow Democrat Phil Murphy.

Professor Brigid Harrison of Montclair State University says the move unofficially anoints the Monmouth County Democrat and former Goldman Sachs executive as the next governor.

Harrison says no other candidate from either party has the money to match what Murphy is likely to spend on the campaign.

Related stories:

Democrat Steve Fulop says he wont’ run for governor

 Republican Jack Ciattarelli announces run for governor

Democrat Phil Murphy announces run for governor

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