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Former and current political figures and an award-winning journalist standing in front of a step and repeat for a political discourse event at Monmouth University.

Former New Jersey Governors Headline Panel Discussion at Monmouth University

Monmouth University was host for the panel discussion, “We Are Not Enemies, But Friends,” featuring some of New Jersey’s most influential political figures on April 3. The event was the second in the public discussion series, “Leadership, Civility, and Common Ground in Politics and Public Service,” led by Democratic State Sen. Vin Gopal and former Republican State Sen. Joe Kyrillos. The event was co-sponsored by Monmouth University’s College Republicans and College Democrats student organizations, with the office of Monmouth University President Patrick F. Leahy serving as lead sponsor.

Three former governors—Richard Codey (D), Tom Kean (R), and Jim McGreevey (D)—served as panelists, while Gopal, Kyrillos, and award-winning NJ Spotlight/NJPBS evening news anchor Briana Vannozzi served as co-moderators of the event. The nonpartisan forum provided insight on how different ideologies and political affiliations can find common ground through civil dialogue that can lead to successful outcomes in the public interest.

“I think today we have the greatest collection of political talent ever gathered on our campus at one time,” Leahy remarked. “In addition to three governors, we have senators, we have former senators, and we have commissioners here as well.” Following brief remarks, Leahy introduced JackMichael Bruno, chairperson of College Republicans, and Owen Bros, president of College Democrats. Both students then introduced the senators co-moderating the event.

Following the discussion, Bruno and Bros took to social media to publicly pledge collaboration on future events, emphasizing their commitment to future joint efforts between the two student organizations.