EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono picked labor leader Milly Silva as her running mate Monday, in the first all-female ticket in New Jersey history and only the third nationwide.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, Silva is executive vice president of 1199 SEIU, a private union of health care workers.
Cheers erupted at a rally in East Rutherford as Buono announced Silva as her pick for lieutenant governor.
At the rally, Buono also said all Republican Gov. Chris Christie cares about is getting to the White House. She claimed his politics are hurting women.
“Do you believe Chris Christie will stop his attacks on Planned Parenthood and women’s health in his second term?” Buono asked a crowd that replied “no.”
Silva, a 43-year-old Montclair resident, likewise wasted no time attacking the Christie, whose policies she said have hurt the middle and working class.
She said Christie’s associations with conservative politicians is “cause for alarm.”
“When the people of New Jersey have needed him most, Chris Christie has failed,” said Silva. “Gov. Christie is just itching to leave New Jersey in the dust to satisfy his own personal ambitions.”
Silva also highlighted her Hispanic roots while accusing Christie of failing Latinos, African-Americans and women, WCBS 880′s Jim Smith reported.
“We live in a New Jersey where whatever Chris Christie says goes,” Silva said. “That’s not a leader. That’s a bully.”
The Christie campaign quickly fired back, saying Silva is unqualified to be governor.
“For the most important decision Barbara Buono will make as a candidate, she has chosen an activist from a well-funded labor union who is wholly unqualified with no experience in government or public service,” Christie said in a statement.
But some residents said they liked Buono’s choice.
“I think it’s great — two women against Christie,” one resident said.
Others, however, said no one has a chance against a Republican governor enjoying such huge popularity in a Democratic state.
“I think he’s very charismatic,” said Barry Goffin of Rutherford. “It’s not a Republican or Democratic thing.”
In addition to releasing a statement, Christie — whose lieutenant governor is a woman – was quoted last week as saying the day Buono debates him will be one of the worst days of her campaign. She had no comment on the quote Monday.
Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are seeking a second term.
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