NJ governor battles for re-election

Jeremy Hobson Jul 16, 2009

NJ governor battles for re-election

Jeremy Hobson Jul 16, 2009


Steve Chiotakis: President Obama’s stumping in New Jersey today for Democratic Governor Jon Corzine. The former Goldman Sachs CEO is facing a tough re-election battle in the Garden State. Yeah, you heard me right — he once led Goldman Sachs. And that’s not exactly helping Corzine in the popularity department. Here’s Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.

Jeremy Hobson: Last time Jon Corzine ran for governor, it was 2005. Being a former Wall Street guy was kind of an asset. My, how things have changed.

Chris Christie Ad: Governor Jon S. Corzine’s reputation as a supposed financial wizard is officially dead. It will take more than a recovery to get New Jersey back on track. It will take a new governor.

That’s an ad from Corzine’s Republican opponent, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. Christie’s running a standard anti-incumbent, pro-tax-cut campaign.

Steve Adubato is a veteran political analyst and author of “What Were They Thinking?” He says Christie’s campaign is echoing concerns a lot of New Jerseyans now have about Governor Corzine.

Steve Adubato: Hey wait a minute, if you’re that good, who cares what the economy’s like? That’s why we hired you because you can get us out of this. Well, you don’t have the luxury when you’re a candidate for re-election to say, “Could you be patient with me?” Doesn’t work that way.

New Jersey’s unemployment rate is 8.8 percent, far from the worst in the nation. But state residents pay the highest property taxes in the country at more than 6 percent. And the state is facing a budget deficit of as much as $10 billion.

Adubato: You know, it’s like when you live in New Jersey, our slogan should be at least, “We’re not California.”

Adubato says Chris Christie hasn’t presented much of an economic plan himself — but if things get worse between now and November, he may not have to.

Voters Robert Michelena and Mary Johnson in Jersey City don’t think much of Governor Corzine.

Robert Michelena: He may have come from Wall Street, but he’s a classic tax and spend liberal. That’s all he is.

Mary Johnson: I don’t know who should be the next governor, but I’m looking for it to be somebody who can handle what’s happening now.

Somebody with Wall Street experience might have been a perfect choice a few years ago. But a glance at the polls indicates it’s going to take more than that to win over New Jerseyans this time.

I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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