Christie Whitman is the Republican governor from New Jersey. First elected in 1993, Whitman won re-election in 1997 and has one more year remaining in her current term. The state’s constitution bars her from running again. Whitman, 54, is New Jersey’s first female governor.
An avid mountain biker and skier, Whitman is described by Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope as having a “mixed record on the environment.” She has pushed open-space preservation in her densely developed state, and supported an unpopular auto emissions test aimed at reducing air pollution.
Critics say she has compromised water pollution protections and cut spending for prosecutions of industry environmental abuses. But Pope says that “on balance we believe the Sierra Club could work with her.”
Whitman is considered a moderate Republican. A tax-cut proponent, she also supports abortion rights, affirmative action and gay rights. The EPA post is not part of the Cabinet, but as a top administration nominee, Whitman must be approved by the Senate.
Before becoming New Jersey’s governor, Whitman headed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the Somerset County Board of Freeholders. She is a graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts where she earned a bachelor’s degree in government. A native of New York City, Whitman is married and has two children.