New Jersey Republican Senator drops gun and runs into Murphy public job embrace

There’s a battle of ideology going on in New Jersey and for Republican New Jersey Senator Chris Brown, if you can’t beat them, join them. Brown, an army veteran dropped his rifle and ran into the enemy’s lair today as he was appointed to a public patronage job by Democrat Governor Phil Murphy.

Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver announced that State Senator Chris A. Brown, Esq. will join the Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Local Government Services as the Senior Advisor for Atlantic City Affairs, a newly created role in the Department. In this position, Brown will spearhead State initiatives in Atlantic City, including efforts to improve public safety, diversify the economy and create jobs, and improve social services.

In other words, Atlantic City’s out-of-control gang and drug crime is Brown’s problem now.

“Chris is deeply committed to improving the lives of those who call Atlantic City home, and he will be a tremendous asset for the Administration as we further strengthen the Atlantic City economy and improve quality of life,” said Governor Murphy“I look forward to working together to address issues like economic growth and public safety. With Chris in this new role, and with Sheila at the helm of DCA, the future of Atlantic City has never looked brighter.”

“I want to thank Governor Murphy and Lt. Governor Oliver for the opportunity to serve the families of Atlantic County,” said State Senator Chris Brown. “Governor Murphy and I share the same belief that if you put aside ego and party labels, we can accomplish great things to help working families. I know from working with Lt. Governor Oliver since 2012, when we served together in the Assembly, and she is fully committed to seeing Atlantic City succeed, which is why I am eager to get started.”

“We can make the lives of the families of Atlantic City better by taking real action working with the Casino Redevelopment Authority, the police, code enforcement, and community groups to show families and visitors the city is safe and clean, and holding property owners accountable for properly maintaining their buildings and lots,” continued Senator Brown. “By diversifying the local economy and by encouraging new, non-tourism related industries to locate in the city, like clean energy, we can create new jobs and attract business to our city.”

Brown will step down from a three-year tenure serving as state senator representing New Jersey’s Second Legislative District, which includes Atlantic City. Brown’s first day as Senior Advisor for Atlantic City Affairs will be July 20, 2021. Brown’s salary will be $150,000.

Brown, once a rising star in the New Jersey GOP announced in February that he would not run for re-election this year, signaling a potential political deal with Murphy.

In 2017, Brown was the only Republican nationwide to flip a state Senate seat from Democrat to Republican during that midterm bloodbath.

“In one of the toughest political environments for the Republican party in history, last night Chris Brown managed to be the only Republican legislative candidate in 2017 to unseat a sitting Democrat. Senator-elect Brown ran a tremendous campaign focused on local issues and his record of leadership,” Tom Kean, Jr. said about the rising star in the party.

Brown served three terms in the New Jersey General Assembly representing the Second Legislative District. He served on the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee and the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Reform and Federal Relations Committee.

During his time in the General Assembly, Brown established himself as a staunch advocate for the families, retirees, and small businesses of Atlantic County, particularly in leading the fight against North Jersey casinos. He has sponsored laws to enhance New Jersey’s tourism industry, assist veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce, and ensure women receive access to preventative health care.

While serving as a state senator, Brown served on the Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee and the Senate Higher Education Committee while sponsoring laws promoting the development of the aviation industry, assisting families recovering from addiction, and making a college education affordable.

Prior to joining the Assembly and then becoming a state senator, Brown acted as a civil trial attorney within his own law firm, which successfully represented injured persons and those who have lost loved ones due to the fault of others. The firm focused on injury cases, accidents cases, and insurance claims. Prior to selling the firm in June 2021, he also served over the years as a municipal court judge, solicitor, and assistant solicitor for various municipalities and a school board. 

Brown served honorably during the first Persian Gulf War. During Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge for his service while spearheading the ground offensive into Iraq. In 2008, he was activated for war a second time by the United States Army to serve his country in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In addition to his service to our country, Brown has also been involved in service to his local community. He is the founder and President of the Chief Arthur R. Brown, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which has awarded $275,000 in scholarships to local students since 1992. He is a lifelong member of the Atlantic City Chapter of the NAACP where he served as Chairman of the Legal Redress Committee. Additionally, he is a member of American Legion, AMVETS, Jewish War Veterans of America, Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Brown has been recognized many times for his community service. He is the recipient of the Kiwanis Club Key Award, the NAACP Dedication to Community Award, the Boys and Girls Club Community Appreciation Award, the Art Dorrington Hockey Foundation Award for Volunteerism, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity award as Volunteer of the Year, AMVETS’s Assemblyman of the Year, Distinguished Arts Advocate Award from the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, the Thom Schiavo Humanitarian Award from Beth El Synagogue, Margate, and the Clare Sabatini Community Award from the New Jersey Shore Arts Association.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University, Brown obtained his juris doctorate degree from Widener University School of Law.

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