Jonathan D. Salant
2018-02-12
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

New Gov. Phil Murphy will attend this year's New Jersey Chamber of Commerce dinner in Washington.

Murphy, along with U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Rep. Chris Smith, R-4th Dist., the dean of the state's congressional delegation, are the featured speakers at the event's 81 congressional dinner March 1.

The two-day event is known as the "Walk to Washington" because passengers on the chamber-chartered Amtrak train walk up through the various cars and talk to fellow attendees.

The train departs Newark's Penn Station the morning of March 1, stops at stations along the way, and heads to Washington's Union Station. There are several receptions in the afternoon before the dinner that evening.

Murphy took the train last year when he was running for governor, as did one of his unsuccessful rivals in the Democratic primary, state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, made the trip.

"It's one of my favorite things to do," Murphy, who twice walked entire 15-car train, said last year. "It's a real sort of pulse-check for a lot of the issues and a lot of realities in the state right now."

For outgoing Gov. Chris Christie, last year's dinner speech served as a valedictory address.

"As I listen to this campaign begin to unfold, I wanted to come here tonight to sound a warning to all of you," Christie said. "I'm concerned that people make promises that I know, from being governor, that they can't keep. You guys should be a bit vigilant about holding these guys to some measure of reality."

Both Menendez and Booker, who also spoke, talked about efforts to restrict immigration, a centerpiece of President Donald Trump's campaign.

"If you think immigrants are taking from America, you haven't run the numbers," Booker said.

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