by Jess Scanlon
This November, New Jersey voters will make the vital choice of who will be the next governor. The Democratic Party nominee is the incumbent, Gov. Jon Corzine. He is a former business executive and served as a U.S. Senator before being elected governor in 2005. However, his background tells the story of a man who lived the American dream.
Corzine was born and raised on a small farm outside of Willey’s Station, Ill. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois, paying for his education by working summers as a laborer and at the U.S. Postal Service. After graduating, Corzine enlisted in the U.S. Marine Reserve Corps., where he served for six years, attaining the rank of sergeant. He earned his M.B.A. at the University of Chicago while working at a bank. Upon taking a job in 1975 at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Corzine moved to the state where he would one day serve as governor.
During his time at Goldman Sachs, President Bill Clinton honored Corzine by naming him the chairperson of a presidential commission that studied ways to increase federal investment in schools, infrastructure and technology. Upon leaving Goldman Sachs in 1999, he successfully ran for U.S. Senator where he served from 2001-2006.
Corzine’s record shows that he is pro-choice, supports same-sex marriage and wants to make education more accessible from preschool to college. He gave New Jersey its first Medical Leave Act, allowing workers to care for ill relatives without workplace repercussions. As someone who has worked in the financial sector, he understands the unique economic situation that exists here.
As governor, Corzine inherited a state in debt from mismanagement and corruption, a problem that could take decades to resolve. Under Corzine, New Jersey was the first to develop and pass an economic stimulus package. With these and other successes under his belt, Corzine plans to build on them in a second term.