On Jan. 16, 2018, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will leave office, making way for Democrat Phil Murphy, who was elected on Tuesday.
It has been an interesting eight years with Christie as governor, to say the least. Though his approval ratings are currently at a record low, he still did some good for the state. He had a tough stance on and fought a hard battle with New Jersey’s opioid epidemic. He also supported N.J. citizens every step of the way after Hurricane Sandy caused extreme destruction in 2012.
However, many people’s praise of the governor stops there. According to a Quinnipiac University poll in June, 81 percent of voters disapproved of Christie’s performance.
This could be attributed to many things. One of the more prominent factors that led to the downfall of Christie’s approval ratings was the Bridgegate scandal. Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bill Baroni, and former top aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, were both found guilty of purposely causing a gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J. by closing two lanes on the George Washington Bridge.
It was suspected that the scandal was an act of political revenge against Fort Lee’s mayor for not endorsing Christie. Christie was not charged with any crimes related to the event and denied having any part in it, but it was alleged by numerous witnesses that he was aware of the plan.
His low ratings could also be attributed to his failed presidential campaign that caused him to leave the state numerous times, his testy temper that led him to argue with his constituents on more than one occasion or his July 4, 2017 government shutdown, which prohibited anyone from entering state parks or beaches on the holiday – excluding Christie or his family.
All of these events led the citizens of New Jersey to believe one thing: our governor doesn’t care about his constituents, only his own political gain.
After years of being disappointed by our governor, New Jersey needs someone who will always keep the people in mind, regardless of political stance or opinion.
Some people have compared Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, to former Democratic N.J. Gov. Jon Corzine, the one-time Goldman Sachs CEO who had a 72 percent disapproval rating in 2006. Both men come from big money, but hopefully this money won’t distract Murphy from doing what’s best for the people of New Jersey.
What we hope is that Murphy will be nothing like Christie or Corzine and will give this state the fresh start it needs by prioritizing the people.
Will we find that in Murphy? Only time will tell.
The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Setonian’s Editorial Board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.