By Matt Friedman | September 10th, 2009 - 12:58pm
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State Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Middletown) says there’s a “strong undercurrent” of Democratic support for Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie, though few Democrats will come out and say it.

“I can tell you that Chris has talked to a lot of Democrats, a lot of prominent Democrats. People who want to build relationships with him, want to start on the right foot and reach out to someone they think will be the next governor of New Jersey,” said Kyrillos, the chairman of Christie’s campaign,  in a conference call with reporters today.  “Mayors, leaders tell me I can’t really step out front, but I’m with you. You won’t see a big vote turnout here, you won’t see a lot of organization in this town there.”

The point of the conference call was highlight three Democrats who are supporting Christie, though one – Hillside Mayor Joseph Menza – did not wind up on the call and is actually an independent.  The other two were Joan Haberle, who was secretary of state during the first half of former Governor Jim Florio’s administration, and Garfield Councilwoman Tana Raymond, who has appeared for months in Christie campaign commercials and press releases.

Haberle, who Republicans similarly trotted out to support John McCain for president last year, maintained that she usually does vote Democrat.  

“I have always been a Democrat. In fact I was a county leader – I was chairman of the Democratic Party in Hunterdon County,” she said.

Haberle blamed Corzine for the state’s 9.3% unemployment rate and said that, as a commercial realtor, she’s witnessed businesses leave the state because of his policies.  She also brought up Corzine’s relationship with former union leader Carla Katz – something that Christie has purposefully avoided on the trail.

“The other problem that bothers me very much so is the arrogance in the office of the Carla Katz situation, which I’m not going to get very involved in, but if a court order to turn over tapes and you don’t do it, what’s your problem. That means you show complete disregard for the state system,” she said.  (A Mercer County Superior Court judge ordered Corzine to turn over his email correspondence with Katz last year, but the decision was reversed on appeal).  

Raymond, for her part, said that she supported Corzine four years ago but “everything he promised he did not deliver.”  She criticized his negative advertising, saying it made her “Ashamed to be a Democrat.”

Raymond also hit Corzine for spearheading instituting a new school funding formula, saying that her town – an Abbott District – receives $52 million in state aid.

“I don’t know what he plans to do, but I know that the people of Garfield can’t pick up that tab,” she said.  

Christie has described the Abbott decisions as a failed experiment.  

“I get the feeling that there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to education on a state level. I’m not saying Chris Christie has all the answers, but knowing the type of man he has and the determination he has, I know he can find solutions,” she said.

Menza issued a statement after the call saying that he has supported Democrats “for decades,” including President Obama in last year’s election and Corzine in 2005.

“This year, however, New Jersey needs change, and I’m supporting Chris Christie because he’ll bring exactly the kind of change that will put an end to politics as usual in Trenton,” he said.

The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

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