Republican Chris Christie Takes New Jersey
Chris Christie became the first Republican in several years to become New Jersey's governor in the Democratic-leaning state.
He joins Virginia governor-elect Bob McConnell as the second Republican Catholic to be voted into gubernatorial office today.
The Associated Press reports that with 75 percent of the precincts reporting, Christie leads with 50 percent of the vote over his Democratic opponent Gov. Jon Corzine, who is left with 44 percent of the vote. President Obama invested in the race, campaigning with Corzine five times on three visits.
During the campaign, Corzine targeted Christie in an ad criticizing Christie's support of a constitutional ban on abortion and opposition of funding stem cell research.
Christie has explained his positions on social issues to the Star-Ledger.
In an interview, Christie today outlined his own positions on social issues, saying he evolved from pro-choice to pro-life with the birth of his children but would not use the governor's office to "force that down people's throats." However, he said he favors restrictions on abortion rights such as banning partial-birth abortions and requiring parental notification and a 24-hour waiting period.
He said he favors the state's current law allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions but would veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage if it reached his desk. Corzine has said he would sign such a bill.
Late last week, Ben Smith of Politico reported that on two groups that were mailing out information about cultural issues in the race.
A pair of conservative advocacy groups – the New Jersey Faith & Freedom Coalition and the New Jersey Family Policy Council – are dropping mail in the Garden State that takes on Corzine and Daggett on cultural issues.
The pieces, which got into the hands of Democrats, were mailed to a household with an Irish last name, surely under the assumption that said household was Catholic.
Running in deep-blue Jersey, Christie has avoided cultural issues during the campaign.