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Former Governor, Rep. Dies at 85

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Former NJ Governor, U.S. Congressman James Florio Dies at 85

Former New Jersey governor and congressional Rep. James Florio has died at the age of 85.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy praised Florio in a statement that read:

“Governor Florio was a fighter who never backed down. He was a leader who cared more about the future of New Jersey than his own political fortunes.”

MSN reported that “Florio served four years in the state Assembly and 15 years in the House of Representatives.”

After serving in Congress, Florio made several unsuccessful bids for the governor’s chair, winning on a fourth attempt in 1989 after defeating Republican Jim Courter.

MSN noted that “Florio [a Democrat] drew sharp criticism in 1990 when he pushed a $2.8 billion tax increase through the state legislature that extended a sales tax to, among other things, toilet paper. It spawned massive voter resentment and spurred the formation of Hands Across New Jersey, an anti-tax grassroots group that used rolls of toilet paper as its symbol.”

Florio was a one-term governor—losing in 1994 to Republican Christie Whitman.

In 2000, Florio unsuccessfully ran for a U.S. Senate seat, losing to investment banker Jon Corzine in one of the most expensive Senate primaries in history, according to the Conservative Brief.

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