BELFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A new election battle is brewing right here in the Tri-State area.
More than a dozen people say they want to be the next governor of New Jersey — but with Governor Christie’s approval rating so low, what do the voters want?
Most voters told CBS2’s Meg Baker that it’s time for a change. With four Republicans and 9 Democrats now in the race so far, voters are all ears to hear who will be best to lead next.
Middletown resident Hart Boyce says that he’d be open to an outsider — similar to President-elect Donald Trump — taking the reins, but he’s not sure that person is out there yet.
New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno officially launched her gubernatorial campaign Tuesday, pitching herself as a fighter for working families and small business owners.
Supporters and local officials gathered Tuesday in Keansburg as Guadagno announced she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor. Gov. Chris Christie did not attend.
Guadagno promised to lower taxes and fund schools fairly at the packed event at a Mexican restaurant whose owner said Guadagno helped him reopen after Superstorm Sandy.
Without mentioning Christie by name, she criticized his proposed $300 million statehouse renovation, saying the state cannot afford to turn the building into the Palace of Versailles.
Political strategist Jeanette Hoffman highlights the fact that Guadagno failed to mention the current governor by name.
“Politicians like Governor Christie, they have very low approval ratings,” she said Tuesday. “So I think people are looking to outsiders and people who can relate to everyday people.”
With several independent business people in the race, including Republican Joseph Rudy Rullo, Democrats Monica Brinson, Lisa McCormick, and Titus Pierce, Middletown resident Ron Miller isn’t sure Trump’s tactics will work in the Garden State.
“I’d like someone with some experience,” he said, “but good experience, that’s the qualifier.”
Others say mimicking Trump’s approach to politics is a positive. Belford resident William Scarangallo says politicians don’t appeal to him. He’s looking for more businessmen to get the job done.
Guadagno is using “Better” as a campaign slogan after serving seven years as Christie’s top deputy.
“We can do better,” Guadagno said Tuesday.
Miller says he’s still skeptical because of her ties to the current governor.
“My opinion is the Lt. Governor has a lot of baggage because she’s associated with the Christie camp,” he said.
As Christie’s second-in-command, Guadagno mostly stood by his side before publicly breaking with him last year over his support of Donald Trump and an increase in the state’s gas tax.
Guadagno is an attorney who served as a federal prosecutor in New York and later moved to New Jersey, where she served as Monmouth County sheriff. She filed paperwork with the state last week to run in the Republican primary.
She joins Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, among others, competing in the June 6 primary. Ciattarelli is scaling back his campaign while undergoing treatment for cancer in his neck.
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