Volume 6/Issue 23

  • Voters Reject Casino Expansion and Approve Dedication of Transportation Funds
  • Representative Garrett Concedes House Race
  • The Impact of Trump Presidency on New Jersey

Voters Reject Casino Expansion and Approve Dedication of Transportation Funds

Yesterday, Garden State voters approved a ballot question that constitutionally dedicates the revenue from the state’s gasoline and motor fuel tax to transportation projects. Election returns showed 53.6 percent voted in favor of the provision while 46.4 percent opposed it. Governor Christie recently signed legislation increasing the State’s gas tax by 23 cents and some lawmakers, including Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, encouraged voters to vote no on the measure as a way to strike back against the increase. She split with Governor Chris Christie who supported the ballot question because it ensures that all gas tax revenues will only be spent on roads, bridges, and mass transit projects.

With 78 percent opposed, voters also overwhelmingly rejected a ballot question that would have allowed a pair of casinos to be built outside of Atlantic City in the central and northern parts of New Jersey.  More than $8.6 million was spent on advertising in support of the casino expansion, but the campaign was suspended in October when polls showed lack of public support for the measure.

Representative Garrett Concedes House Race

In New Jersey’s only close congressional contest, incumbent Representative Scott Garrett was defeated by Josh Gottheimer.  A former political advisor and speech writer to President Bill Clinton, Gottheimer defeated the Congressman by 51 percent to 47 percent. The race drew national attention for its heated attacks and campaign spending. According to press reports, Gottheimer raised more than $4 million, while Garrett raised $1.9 million.

Congressman-elect Gottheimer will be the first Democrat in more than three decades to serve the 5th district.

As anticipated, all other incumbent congressional representatives for New Jersey were re-elected.

The Impact of a Trump Presidency on New Jersey

The election of Donald Trump to President of the United States sent shockwaves throughout the nation as pundits and pollsters widely predicted the election of Secretary Hillary Clinton.

The Republican nominee’s surprising victory will have an impact on the Garden State as pundits speculate, one of his closest advisors and early supporters, Governor Christie, will be considered for a cabinet post or serve in the administration in some capacity. President–elect Trump in his victory speech thanked the governor saying, “Governor Chris Christie, folks, was unbelievable.”

The governor currently serves as the head of the transition team and will be charged with planning President-elect Trump’s first months in office. Politico reports Governor Christie and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are potential candidates for United States Attorney General.  USA Today also suggests he may be under consideration for White House Chief of Staff.

Should Governor Christie leave for a position in the Trump Administration, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno would fill the vacancy until the 2017 gubernatorial election.