- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney says he’s backing Democrat Phil Murphy for governor.

Sweeney told The Associated Press Wednesday that he’s supporting the former Goldman Sachs executive because Murphy is likely to win and they support similar policies, like raising the minimum wage.

Murphy is among a handful of Democrats running to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Sweeney, once considered a leading candidate himself, suggested he would back Murphy in October when he bowed out of the race but held back. He says he changed his mind after Murphy won support among southern Jersey Democratic chairmen last year.

The endorsement comes as Murphy won support from much of the Democratic Party, including Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.

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