By Matt Friedman | November 4th, 2009 - 12:48am
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Chris Christie tonight delivered for the New Jersey GOP a governorship - the first time a Republican has won a statewide race in New Jersey in a dozen years - and by a margin greater than even most Republicans expected. 

Once he is sworn in January, Christie will become the state's 55th governor.

By the time he started his victory speech, unofficial results showed a Christie victory of 106,000 over Corzine. 

Independent Christopher Daggett, up to 20% in one October poll, fell back to earth on Election Day, getting in the low single digits.

When the Bruce Springsteen cover band stopped playing for a few minutes to show footage of Daggett's concession speech with audio, the crowd gave off an intense boo.

Christie was introduced by Lieutenant Governor-Elect Kim Guadagno, who said "Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to see change.

"There is hope for real change. There is hope for lowering taxes. There is hope for smaller government. There is hope for new jobs in New Jersey."

Christie took to the podium and gave a simple salutation to the boisterous, shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of GOP faithful who had to wait over a decade for this moment.

"Hey, New Jersey - we did it," he said.

Christie received Gov. Corzine's concession call at about 10:40.

"Listen, the Governor's call was gracious. I thanked him for his years of service to the state. He pledged a smooth transition to the new Christie-Guadagno administration,' he said.

Nevertheless, Christie excoriated Corzine for running an intensely personal negative campaign against him, and said that his victory should send pundits and candidates the message that negative campaigns don't work.

"I've worked too hard over my life to give away my integrity for any job," he said.  "Through their overwhelming support tonight, the people of New Jersey said no more negative personal campaign... We faced a $30 million onslaught that consisted almost exclusively of a negative personal campaign against me, my family and my friends - the people of New Jersey decided enough is enough."

Christie called for "a new era of optimism in New Jersey."

"The campaign we just went through seemed easy compared to the tasks that lie ahead of us to fix our state," he said.  "There are no easy answers to these difficult problems. 

Criticized for his lack of specifics on how he will enact his broadly worded plans to cut taxes, spending and restore property tax rebates, Christie did not get any more specific tonight.  Instead, he took the fight to critics who doubted his qualifications to become U.S. Attorney when he was first appointed by former President George W. Bush. 

"These are the same people who said eight years ago, when I became U.S. attorney, that you couldn't fight corruption in New Jersey. Well they were wrong then, and they are wrong now."

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 22nd

Winners and Losers: Week of September 15th WINNERS Chris Christie NBC News reported Thursday evening that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has determined after a nine-month investigation that there is 'no evidence" so far that the governor had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

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 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"In many ways, Fulop has embraced McGreevey’s granular-level approach to retail politics, racing around the state to raise money for congressional candidates in South Jersey one night, showing up at a Morris County Democratic Party function the next. His administration has also awarded legal work to Weiner Lesniak, the Parsippany-based firm run by state Sen. Ray Lesniak, the Union County Democratic Party power broker." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

Poll

Who will succeed Gov. Chris Christie as New Jersey's governor?:

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