New Jersey governor race: Who’re Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno?

Phil Murphy, a Democrat, and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, a Republican, face off during a gubernatorial debate in New Jersey. Murphy leads Guadagno in the polls.

Phil Murphy, a Democrat, and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, a Republican, face off throughout a gubernatorial debate in New Jersey. Murphy leads Guadagno within the polls. (AP Picture/Julio Cortez)

The stakes are excessive in New Jersey because the state prepares to elect a brand new governor for the primary time in eight years.

Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno — the state’s two high contenders — are competing to switch Republican Gov. Chris Christie, the one governor to serve two full phrases since Tom Kean within the 1980s.

Right here’s what it’s good to know in regards to the candidates forward of the Nov. 7 race.

Phil Murphy, Democrat

Phil Murphy, 60, is a former Goldman Sachs government and U.S. ambassador to Germany. Previous to serving as ambassador, he was the Democratic Nationwide Committee’s finance chair.

Democratic nominee Phil Murphy answers a question during a gubernatorial debate against Republican nominee Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, pool)

Phil Murphy is a former Goldman Sachs government and U.S. ambassador to Germany. (AP Picture/Julio Cortez)

Murphy was born to a household in Boston who lived “paycheck to paycheck,” in keeping with Murphy’s marketing campaign web site. He graduated from Harvard in 1979 with a level in economics and later obtained his MBA from the Wharton Faculty of Enterprise on the College of Pennsylvania.

Murphy, who’s married with 4 youngsters, has by no means held elected workplace. Nonetheless, the Democrat is the surprising front-runner within the race partly due to Christie’s approval ranking, which hit 15 % in June — the lowest of any governor within the state’s historical past. Christie’s scores have dropped as a result of Bridgegate scandal and his time spent out of state to organize for the 2016 presidential election, Ross Baker, a professor of American politics at Rutgers College, instructed Fox Information.

Consequently, political consultants have Murphy favored to win the election.

“The place we stand now, he’s the presumptive favourite. The general public is searching for somebody totally different,” Benjamin Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider College, mentioned.

And the prediction may very well be proper: In keeping with a Fox Information ballot from Oct. 17, Murphy led his Republican opponent 47 to 33 %. Moreover, a current Suffolk College and USA Immediately ballot discovered that Murphy has a 16-point lead on his opponent.

What’s extra, the state’s altering demographics additionally improve Murphy’s probabilities of profitable, Dworkin mentioned. To present that some context: In 2007, there have been 200,000 extra registered Democrats in New Jersey than Republicans. By 2017, there have been 800,000 extra, in keeping with Dworkin.

“The state has turn into far more democratic since Christie was first elected,” he mentioned.

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The outcomes of the 2016 presidential election may assist Murphy succeed. Some voters who don’t agree with the present administration “wish to go on the market and ship a message to Washington — and that is how they’re going to do it,” Dworkin mentioned.

The Democratic front-runner has been gobbling up endorsements from elected officers, religion leaders and numerous organizations. An in depth record of Murphy’s endorsements could be discovered right here. However among the most notable embody: Former Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

Moreover, former President Invoice Clinton campaigned for Murphy at a labor union in Paramus on Tuesday — simply two days after his spouse and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed her help for Murphy at a closed-door fundraiser in Harrison. And former President Barack Obama, who named Murphy to his ambassador place, started campaigning for Murphy on Oct. 19.

Proud to have @HillaryClinton be part of our marketing campaign at present – the significance of this election can’t be understated! #Murphy4NJpic.twitter.com/sby8UMgIcs

— Phil Murphy (@PhilMurphyNJ) October 23, 2017

In the course of the occasion on Tuesday, Invoice Clinton mentioned Guadagno is “making an attempt to scare the residing daylights out of individuals” to get her base to indicate up on the polls on Nov. 7., Politico reported. His remark alluded to an immigration advert that Guadagno lately launched that mentioned Murphy would have the “backs of deranged murderers.”

Murphy is working on a promise to higher New Jersey infrastructure, make housing within the state extra reasonably priced, sort out the opioid epidemic, crack down on gun violence and open a state-run financial institution that might be owned by New Jersey taxpayers, amongst different proposals.

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The financial institution — which might be the second of its sort within the U.S. — would give some state tax cash to neighborhood banks. The neighborhood banks would then give loans to small enterprise homeowners, infrastructure tasks within the state and scholar loans. The income could be returned to the folks of New Jersey as non-tax income.

“Soar beginning the economy– that’s his play,” Dworkin mentioned. “It’s an intriguing idea- however that’s it. It’s not one thing that’s galvanized voters.”

Kim Guadagno, Republican

Republican nominee Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno talks to reporters after participating in a gubernatorial debate against Democratic nominee Phil Murphy at William Paterson University, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in Wayne, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Political analysts say Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s ties to Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., are hurting her personal gubernatorial aspirations. (AP Picture/Julio Cortez)

Kim Guadagno, 58, served as Christie’s lieutenant governor throughout each phrases. Previous to that, she labored as an assistant United States legal professional for the District of New Jersey in Newark earlier than accepting the function of assistant legal professional common for the State of New Jersey.

Guadagno was born in Waterloo, Iowa, and is the center of 5 youngsters. She obtained a political science diploma from Ursinus Faculty earlier than graduating in 1983 from the American College Faculty of Regulation. She is married with three youngsters, in keeping with her marketing campaign web site.

Guadagno has repeatedly tried to distance herself from Christie, trying to “run as her personal particular person,” Dworkin mentioned. However her ties to the present governor are hurting her.

Certainly, a Quinnipiac College ballot discovered that 54 % of New Jersey voters have a destructive opinion of her as a result of she served as Christie’s lieutenant governor.

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“She’s a gifted and certified candidate, however this race is a tremendously uphill battle for her,” Dworkin mentioned.

In contrast to Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate in Virginia’s gubernatorial race this 12 months, Guadagno hasn’t been endorsed by President Trump — probably hurting her probabilities of getting forward.

“She’s a gifted and certified candidate, however this race is a tremendously uphill battle for her.”

“Trump desires to avoid the Republican Occasion in New Jersey proper now, which is dragged down by the Christie model title, and the administration thinks it has a greater probability to swing issues in Virginia,” Julian Zelizer, a professor of historical past and public coverage at Princeton College, instructed NJ.com.

Guadagno is working on the promise to finish the opioid epidemic, repair New Jersey transportation, develop jobs within the state, repair pension and well being advantages, make the state extra navy and veteran-friendly, and reduce property taxes by as a lot as $3,000. New Jersey’s property taxes are the highest within the nation.

If elected, Guadagno has mentioned she received’t run for re-election if she will be able to’t decrease property taxes in her first time period. However solely 23 % of voters imagine her promise, in keeping with the Quinnipiac ballot.

General, each candidates must encourage New Jerseyans to get out and vote, as most residents are “vaguely conscious” of this 12 months’s gubernatorial election, mentioned Ross.

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