Earlier this year, Montclair Councilor-At-Large and former Montclair mayor Bob Russo had said he was exploring the idea of entering the NJ gubernatorial race. Now another Montclair candidate has come forward, filing paperwork last week to become a candidate for governor.
Jim Johnson, who grew up in Montclair, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. During the Clinton Administration, Johnson held several senior positions in the United States Department of the Treasury, including Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement (1998-2000) and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement (1996-1998). He oversaw the operations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Secret Service, the United States Customs Service, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
At the end of the Clinton Administration after a decade of public service, Johnson returned to private practice, as a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton. Johnson is the recipient of the Alexander Hamilton Award (the Department of Treasury’s highest award, given to officials for excellence in service) and the Attorney General’s Certificate for Excellence in Prosecution. He is also listed as a member of the advisory committee on police standards for the State of New Jersey and is married to Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Johnson speaks to why he is running on his website:
Yesterday, I filed the paperwork to become a candidate for Governor. It’s time New Jersey started on a new journey – one where we engage our citizens in the work to renew our communities. Our democracy is at its strongest not when citizens are simply asked to validate the deals of party leaders, but rather when citizens have a choice on Election Day and a voice in the decisions that impact their daily lives. If elected, I would work with citizens across our state to rebuild the economy, restore the frayed bonds of community and revive our trust in government.