by AMBER KELLY Photographer
The current governor of New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie, will face off against Democratic opponent Barbara Buono on November 5 for the 2013 gubernatorial election.
Christie became New Jersey’s governor in 2010, defeating incumbent Jon Corzine by 3.6 percent. Over the last three years, Christie’s approval ratings have been fairly good, with the most recent poll by “PublicMind” showing an approval rating of 73 percent among registered voters.
Throughout his time as governor, Christie’s platform has been to not raise taxes, as New Jersey has the highest median property tax in the United States.
As governor, Christie has given New Jersey a balanced budget, without rate increases in income tax, sales tax, and corporate business tax. He has also made changes in the education system, changing the requirements for tenure for teachers. Now, in order to obtain tenure, teachers must work four years, with two consecutive years of positive ratings.
If tenured teachers have two consecutive years of poor ratings, they can be eligible for dismissal.
In June 2013, Christie also released a $33 billion budget, with a $100 million increase in school funding.
“I don’t know that much about state politics, but Christie seems pretty good. It looks like more people like him in New Jersey than don’t, which is a good thing. I’ve heard that everyone expects him to win,” says senior Jessica McDonald.
Despite his good approval ratings, there are those in New Jersey who want to see him replaced.
Democratic opponent Buono has been in the New Jersey State Senate since 2002, and she has also been a member of New Jersey’s General Assembly.
According to Buono, her core values surround “community, security, and liberty.” She aims to support more funding for education and make it possible for all children to have a chance at a college education.
Buono talks about her struggles concerning student loan payments from attending Montclair State and Rutgers Law, and she wants to give everyone, including undocumented New Jersey residents, an opportunity at college.
Incumbent Christie is projected to win the election over Buono due to his popularity among New Jersey residents.
Alongside the gubernatorial election is the election for state Senate and Assembly seats.
For the Republicans, former New Jersey State Senator Peter Inverso is running once again for the State Senate seat for the 14th District. With him running for the assembly seats are Republicans Steve Cook, who if elected will be the first openly gay Republican state lawmaker, and Ronald Haas.
Running against Inverso for the Senate seat is Democrat Linda Greenstein. Cook and Haas are up against Democrats Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo for the assembly seats.
“A lot of kids in school don’t really focus on these elections. I definitely know more about the election for governor than for the election for senate and assembly seats. All I know is that Democrats and Republicans have really different views, so it will be interesting to see who wins,” says senior Stephanie Pasewaldt.
These elections are all taking place on Tuesday, November 5. While Christie is expected to win the gubernatorial race, the race for senate and assembly seats is up in the air. Who do you think will win?