N.J. Gov. makes his first LGBT appointment to cabinet position

N.J. Gov. makes his first LGBT appointment to cabinet position

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) recently appointed the first LGBT person to the Governor’s Cabinet since his inauguration succeeding Chris Christie (R).

The Murphy administration announced last week that Brenda “Sue” Fulton was appointed to serve as the chair and the chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

The Motor Vehicle Commission is made up of eight members, four of of whom are appointed by the governor.

Murphy also appointed Zakiya Smith Ellis as the secretary of Higher Education and Deirdre Webster Cobb as chair and CEO of the Civil Service Commission.

“For the first time in New Jersey’s 242 years, the majority of a governor’s cabinet appointments are female,” Murphy said in a statement. “While it has taken too long to get to this first, I am proud to stand with this diverse group of leaders, all of whom are committed to building a stronger, fairer New Jersey that works for everyone. Our team is made up of the best and brightest and their accomplishments and dedication will ensure that our residents and businesses have a state government that is responsive, responsible and professional.”

Fulton is the executive director of Women in the Service Change Initiative and served in the United States Army until she was honorably discharged with the rank of captain. She founded multiple organizations that advocate for LGBT military members and, in July 2011, was appointed by President Barack Obama as the first openly gay member of the West Point Board of Visitors. She was the first female USMA graduate to chair the West Point Board in 2015.

“I’m honored and humbled to be asked to lead the MVC, and to be part of Gov. Murphy’s administration. We will make it our aim every day to better serve the people of New Jersey. I am also grateful that we have a governor who wants to include all New Jerseyans, including the LGBTQ community, in governing one of the most diverse states in the USA,” Fulton said in a statement.

Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino applauded the governor’s appointment.

“We endorsed Phil Murphy during his campaign because we were confident he would choose competent and qualified leaders for New Jersey. He has shown us today that our belief in him was well-founded,” Fuscarino said in a statement.

“We are optimistic that this is just the beginning of a long line of appointments and decisions to be made by Gov. Murphy that will positively impact and be reflective of the LGBT community.”

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