ATLANTIC CITY -- The big election was decided a week ago.
Now New Jersey's political class on Tuesday will begin to close the book on eight years of Gov. Chris Christie.
Thousands of state lawmakers, mayors, council members, government officials, businessmen, lobbyists, and lawyers will convene in Atlantic City over the next three days for the 102nd annual New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference -- one of the leading events in the Garden State's political calendar.
With the election in the books, it's time for the state's decision makers to look to a new administration following Gov.-elect Phil Murphy's decisive victory over his Republican rival and Christie's second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
The incoming governor will close out the annual bash with a keynote address on Thursday.
Murphy gets hero's welcome at NJEA conference
Expect him to lay out his vision for the next four years and reaffirm his commitment to fulfill campaign promises that will push the state in a new direction after the Christie-era, whether it's a $15 minimum wage, legalized marijuana or taxing the state's millionaires more to fund an ambitious set of pledges made in the run up to the election.
But between now and then, the rest of the state's officials will rub elbows and plot their plans for the new regime.
The League of Municipalities -- the nonprofit group that lobbies in Trenton on behalf of New Jersey's 565 cities and towns -- has held the event since its creation in 1915. It is now the largest gathering of municipal officials in the nation.
Attendees can take in more than 100 panel discussions and workshops about issues facing the state and its towns. Likely to be discussed this year: pension liabilities, school funding reform, and revisiting any number of items Christie rejected from the state's Democratic-controlled Legislature.
Those could be anything from the millionaires tax to tougher gun reforms.
Those things will be discussed during the day. But it's the event's nightlife where deals are more likely to be made.
Every year, politicians, unions, lobbyists, and other organizations host a string of lavish parties at casinos and venues around town. There, New Jersey's most powerful people are known to share drinks and broker deals.
NJ Advance Media staff writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report.
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