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Indian is New Jersey governor for a day

Kris Kolluri will be the first Indian American to become the governor of a US state, though he will hold the post only for a day.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 13:01 IST

Kris Kolluri will be the first Indian American to become the governor of a US state, though he will hold the post only for a day.

Kolluri, who is New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's transportation commissioner and a cabinet member, will be the governor of New Jersey on December 28, until the president of the state senate gets back from his holiday.

"It's pretty awesome," says 38-year-old Kolluri, who will bring his family to Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion, for a few pictures.

"At best, I'll be remembered by my family as the governor. At worst, I'll be a good 'jeopardy' question."

Kolluri, however, was not the first choice. Prior to him, Corzine spoke to the Senate President Richard Codey, Speaker Joe Roberts and Attorney General Stuart Rabner, but everyone declined because they were all going to be away for the holidays, the Star Ledger newspaper reported.

Kolluri is also the first Indian American to hold a cabinet post in New Jersey.

Kolluri was also chief of staff to New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere.

In this capacity, he served as counsellor to the commissioner and managed the development and implementation of the department's legislative and regulatory policies and communications strategies.

With 3,900 employees and a budget of $2.6 billion, the Department of Transportation is charged with the construction, operation, maintenance and management of the state's transportation infrastructure.