So, I return from a business trip to Florida and George Muschal is the new South Ward councilman and Chris Christie is New Jersey’s new governor.
Looking back on the gubernatorial race, it seems that the worldwide economic maelstrom – plus Gov. Jon Corzine’s failure to address the state’s property tax issue and reform official corruption – doomed his campaign.
Relatively independent voters and even more liberal citizens such as myself gravitated towards Mr. Christie as an alternative to the past.
Ironically, Mr. Christie won in a manner similar to U.S. President Barack Obama, who won by garnering the support of independent and even right-leaning voters sick of the extravagances of the Bush years.
Back in Trenton, it seems that Mr. Muschal’s organizational and financial advantages overwhelmed his opposition, which included several Hispanic candidates who stole votes from one another and assured Mr. Muschal’s victory.
Looking forward to the May 2010 municipal election, Mr. Muschal faces a tougher challenge.
Unless he takes 50 percent of the vote, plus one, he will deal with the city’s runoff election provisions, in an election that will be a totally different animal from November’s one-and-done vote.
Around that same time Mr. Christie will be wrestling with some of the toughest budget decision ever faced by a New Jersey governor, as he deals with Gov. Corzine’s going-away present – an $8 billion budget deficit.
There’s a tough road ahead for both men.