From the Star Ledger NJ Voices Blog:
Route 78 cuts through New Jersey. More accurately, it cuts through the many New Jerseys.
Every dozen or so miles, the towns off the highway sit like still portraits of time and place; museum dioramas of vastly different scenery, architecture and lifestyle.
All are New Jersey; from hills over the Musconetcong Valley, to the ridges of the Watchungs, to the flatlands of the Newark Basin. All are home; from the simple mill houses in rural Stewartville to the planned mini-manses of The Hills, to the oldish manors of North Summit, to the new three families in the South Ward of Newark.
West to east, from rural to suburban to urban, the counties of Route 78 are political microcosms of greater New Jersey. Out west, rural and suburban Warren, Hunterdon and Somerset go Republican red. To the east, Union and Essex go Democratic blue. But today, purple was in the air as voters in all these places shared one major concern.
From the Press of Atlantic City:
Voters on Tuesday wanted change – they wanted it enough to overcome New Jersey’s powerful Democratic Party organization and elect Republican Chris Christie as the next governor of the state.
The victory in many ways was surprising. While Christie was ahead in the polls for months, his lead eroded after Gov. Jon S. Corzine poured huge amounts of his personal wealth into the campaign, much of it for negative advertising. Democratic superstars – including President Barack Obama – made multiple visits to New Jersey on Corzine’s behalf.
But this election was not about Obama. It was about Corzine – and the entrenched problems of New Jersey that he has not been able to solve.
Now, for Christie, the really tough job starts.
From the NY Post:
Chris Christie last night became the first Republican to be elected governor of New Jersey in more than a decade — a stunning triumph that came just days after President Obama put his prestige on the line and visited the Garden State to urge voters to re-elect Democrat Jon Corzine.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Christie, a former US attorney who pledged to cut the state’s enormous tax burden, had 49 percent of the vote over Corzine’s 45 percent.
“This election was and is about the future of the state of New Jersey,” Christie said last night in a victory speech at the Parsippany Hilton.
“Tomorrow, together, we begin to take back New Jersey. Tomorrow we will fix this broken state.”
To cheers, he vowed to “pick up Trenton and turn it upside down.”