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Chris Daggett

Chris Daggett
Independent candidate for
Governor of New Jersey
Election date
November 3, 2009
Running mate Frank Esposito
Opponent(s) Jon Corzine (D)
Chris Christie (R)
10 Others
Incumbent Jon Corzine
Personal details
Born Christopher Jarvis Daggett
(1950-03-07) March 7, 1950
Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Bea Horvath Daggett
Alma mater University of North Carolina, B.A.
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Ed.D.

Christopher Jarvis "Chris" Daggett (born March 7, 1950) is the President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, one of the largest foundations in New Jersey. A former regional administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, he ran as an independent candidate for Governor of New Jersey in 2009, garnering 5.8% of the vote.


Daggett was born in Orange, New Jersey and was raised in Linwood. He later moved to Bernards Township and attended Ridge High School. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and went on to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he received a Doctor of Education degree in 1977.[1][2]

Daggett returned to New Jersey and worked on the 1977 gubernatorial campaign of Republican Party candidate Raymond Bateman against the incumbent Brendan Byrne. In 1981, he joined the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Thomas Kean. When Kean was elected Governor, Daggett served as deputy chief of staff specializing in education policy.[1]

In 1984, Daggett was named regional administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency for Region 2, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was recommended for the position by Governor Kean.[3]

Daggett rejoined the Kean administration in 1988, when he was appointed acting Commissioner of the Lawrence E. Bathgate II. Bathgate was an attorney for Ciba-Geigy, which was under indictment for dumping hazardous waste at its facility in Ocean County. Daggett said that he did no wrong in attending the fundraiser, and his nomination was finally cleared by the New Jersey Senate in February 1989.[4][5]

Daggett served until the end of 1989, when he left public service to become a partner at William E. Simon & Sons, a Morristown investment firm founded by William E. Simon and his sons Bill Simon and J. Peter Simon.[1]

Daggett continued to work on environmental issues with Republican and Democratic governors of New Jersey. He was appointed by Governor [1]

Shortly after his gubernatorial campaign ended, Daggett was named the President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation based in Morristown, New Jersey, one of the largest private foundations in the state of New Jersey. "This is a good opportunity to look at what are doing and why we are doing it, whether we can better spend our money and who we can work with collaboratively to have a bigger impact," said Daggett, who officially took over as CEO on June 14, 2010. Former governor Tom Kean praised the selection of Daggett, calling it "a superb choice".[6]

Daggett resides in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township with his wife, Bea (née Horvath).[1]

2009 gubernatorial campaign

On April 20, 2009, Daggett announced that he was entering the New Jersey gubernatorial race as an independent candidate.[7] Daggett raised enough money to qualify him for taxpayer matching funds, which would allow him to participate in televised debates with Governor Corzine and Republican candidate Christopher J. Christie.[8]

On July 27, 2009, Daggett named Frank J. Esposito of Ocean Township as his ticket's candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Esposito is a history professor at Kean University and once served as interim president there.[9]

In the gubernatorial race, Daggett received the endorsement of the New Jersey [10] He was also endorsed by Louise Wilson, mayor of Montgomery Township.[11]

On October 10, 2009, Daggett was endorsed by New Jersey's largest circulated newspaper, The Star-Ledger.[12] Recorder Newspapers, the parent company for 15 newspapers throughout central New Jersey, rescinded their endorsement for Chris Christie and issued an endorsement for Chris Daggett.[13]

In late October, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani demanded Daggett withdraw from the race. Daggett replied: "I'd ask him to withdraw from New Jersey. I don't know why he's coming into New Jersey and trying to tell us how to run our state." [14]

Though Daggett polled as high as 20% in statewide opinion polls in October, he ultimately received 5.8% of the vote when the election was held on November 3, 2009.[15]

Electoral history

New Jersey Gubernatorial Election 2009
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Chris Christie 1,174,445 48.5
Democratic Jon Corzine 1,087,731 44.9
Independent Chris Daggett 139,579 5.8
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


  1. ^ a b c d e "About Chris". Princeton University. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  2. ^ Daggett, Christopher Jarvis (1977). A Study to Determine the Role of Attending Physicians in the Clinical Training of Medical Students and Resident Physicians.  
  3. ^ "Kean Aide Named To Post at E.P.A.".  
  4. ^ "Daggett Focus of Ethics Investigation; DEP Appointment May Be Delayed".  
  5. ^ "Daggett Confirmed as DEP Chief".  
  6. ^ "Former N.J. governor candidate Chris Daggett is named Dodge Foundation CEO".  
  7. ^ Young, Elise (2009-04-21). "Ex-environmental commissioner throws hat in ring for governor".  
  8. ^ Mulvihill, Geoff (2009-07-07). "Independent NJ candidate qualifies for match".  
  9. ^ "Independent in NJ gov's race selects running mate".  
  10. ^ "N.J. Sierra Club endorses Independent Daggett for governor". 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  11. ^ "Daggett supports affordable housing, with changes".  
  12. ^ "Star-Ledger endorses independent Chris Daggett for N.J. governor".  
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Official General Election Results". New Jersey Division of Elections. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Richard T. Dewling
Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Succeeded by
Judith A. Yaskin
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