By John Celock
Westfield Patch
May 20, 2011

Governor makes nominations to number of state boards.

The daughter of a former governor and a former state senator lead off the list of appointments made by Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday.

Christie announced that he was appointing Kate Whitman, the daughter of former Gov. Christie Whitman, as a member of the state Economic Development Authority, and nominating former state Sen. Peter Inverso (R-Hamilton) as a member of the state Banking Advisory Board. The appointments were included in a list of appointments Christie made to a slew of state boards and commissions, along with a new head of the state’s Gaming Enforcement Division.

Whitman, a resident of Peapack-Gladstone, has made several unsuccessful attempts to follow her mother into elective office. In 2007, she unsuccessfully sought support from Somerset County Republicans to run for county freeholder and in 2008, she finished second in a seven-way Republican primary for a seat in Congress. Whitman, a former political press secretary in New Hampshire, also lost a 2009 Republican primary for a seat on the Peapack-Gladstone Borough Council.

The Economic Development Authority provides financing and tax incentives to businesses looking to relocate into the state, along with assistance to municipalities on economic development projects.

This is the second high profile appointment Christie has made of an unsuccessful candidate from the 2008 7th District congressional race to a state post. Last year the governor appointed former Summit Common Council President P. Kelly Hatfield as the chairwoman of the Public

Employment Relations Commission. Hatfield finished third in the race, which was won by U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, then a state senator.

Inverso served 16 years in the State Senate representing Mercer and Middlesex Counties before his retirement in 2008. Prior to his Senate career, he served as a Mercer County freeholder for six years. The president of Roma Federal Savings Bank, Christie named him to a savings bank seat on the board.