Election 2017

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says it wasn't only bad weather that caused anemic turnouts on Election Day.  He says his second administration will fight to change election laws in Albany.

“We are one of only thirteen states that doesn’t allow early voting.  Early voting is the greatest preventative measure to make sure people aren’t excluded because of the weather or because work went late, or the subway broke down.  If you don’t have early voting you’re implicitly allowing the disenfranchisement of a huge number of voters.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Wins Re-election

Nov 8, 2017
Bill de Blasio
CNBC.com

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio cruised to re-election Tuesday.  The mayor collected about 66 percent of the vote compared to 28 for his main challenger, Republican Nicole Malliotakis, with more than 95 percent of the election precincts reporting.

“We have a lot to be proud of, but we can’t stop now,” de Blasio said in a victory speech at the Brooklyn Museum.

WBGO's Scott Pringle was at the election night headquarters.  Click above to hear his report.

Democrat Phil Murphy will be the next governor of New Jersey, after defeating Republican Kim Guadagno in the race to replace Chris Christie.

In his victory speech, Murphy told his supporters says the days of division are over and as New Jersey’s next governor he’ll work to rebuild the state.

“It won’t be easy and it certainly won’t be overnight. But let there be no doubt. Starting here, starting now, and starting with us, New Jersey is coming back.”

Murphy says his first task will be living up to his campaign promise to build a stronger and fairer economy.

A political action committee is spending about $400,000 on advertising that ties some New Jersey Republican candidates to unpopular Governor Chris Christie.

That could affect who holds the top position in the state Assembly.

Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin says most headcounts of majority Democrats in the Assembly show that current Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto does not have enough support to continue in that role. 

Ang Santos / WBGO

For weeks, Democrat Phil Murphy has focused on big name endorsements like former President Barack Obama, New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi, and even International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James Hoffa, who says Murphy's opponent is another Chris Christie.

“You know, so long with Chris Christie we’ve had so many problems in the state of New Jersey.  This is a great state.  We’ve got to turn it around.  We need a new man, new thinking, someone that is for the average person in this state and that is our man Phil Murphy,” Hoffa said.

A day before New Jersey voters select a new governor, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll shows they're ready to say goodbye to the current one.

Poll director Krista Jenkins says only 17 percent of voters surveyed approve of Chris Christie's job performance while 73 percent disapprove.

"By comparison Governor Christie's predecessor left office with approval numbers that were also upside down, but Jon Corzine still had a higher approval rating when he left office than Governor Christie does now, with numbers that were more than double those for the current governor."

Authorities are trying to determine who sent campaign mailers to homes in Edison, New Jersey, with a red ‘deport’ stamp under the photos of two Asian-American school board candidates.

It's possible the anonymous mailers do not violate election law.

New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission deputy director Joe Donohue says state election law requires political communications distributed by a candidate to have a disclaimer showing the name and address of the person or group that paid for them.

Even before the election of a new governor, a coalition of business groups in New Jersey is mobilizing to oppose any big boost in the state's minimum wage.

A business owner in a 60 second ad from the Protect Jersey Jobs coalition says to stay competitive he can't raise prices.

"If some Trenton politicians have their way and pass these mandates, I'm concerned I would have to cut employees hours or their jobs."

Governor Christie vetoed legislation last year that would have raised New Jersey's minimum wage to $15-an-hour by 2021.

 

With just five days before the election, the GOP candidate for New Jersey governor is on the road, taking her message to the people.

On a bus bound for 50 stops throughout the state, Kim Guadagno says the tour is allowing her to talk directly to voters about lowering taxes and keeping New Jersey from becoming a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants.

Just days before the election of a new Governor, a Monmouth University poll finds Democrat Phil Murphy holds a 14-point lead over Republican Kim Guadagno among likely voters in New Jersey.

Poll director Patrick Murray says that margin is the same as it was in early October.

Republican Kim Guadagno is hoping to be the second woman elected Governor of New Jersey, but female voters are showing more support for Democrat Phil Murphy.

Only 29 percent of likely women voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University favor Guadagno while 65 percent support Murphy.

Debbie Walsh, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, says that fits with the gender gap observed since 1980. 

Many of the 11,000 voting machines in New Jersey are old and will soon have to be replaced. Amid concerns about hacking, state lawmakers are examining how to make sure new machines will be more secure.

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker says while there’s no evidence of hacking, the machines are hackable.

Princeton computer science professor Andrew Appel say he could quickly break the security seals on a voting machine, replace the chip that records the results, and reseal it so the tampering would be undetectable.

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey says debates in several legislative districts aren’t being held this year because candidates aren’t willing to participate.

Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray says avoiding debates is a political strategy for some candidates.

“If you are running ahead, the status quo is your best friend. So you don’t want to upset that by engaging in a debate where something is out of your control.”  

Murray says incumbents might prefer to skip debates.

Keanna Faircloth

Democrat Phil Murphy says he’d never be in position to run for New Jersey governor if he never knew Barack Obama.

“He’s always had our backs and New Jersey will always have his back,” Murphy said.

Obama kept his focus mostly on the New Jersey Governor’s race.

A new group in New Jersey wants to make it easier for voters to get information about candidates for legislative and local offices.

Yael Niv helped start the Good Government Coalition of New Jersey.

Some information is available on government and candidates' websites, but she says the state doesn't offer a centralized way to find out who is running for office and where they stand on important issues.

A Fairleigh Dickinson poll finds there’s a Trump Effect in New Jersey’s race for governor.

Poll director Krista Jenkins says 25 percent of likely voters say the way they believe President Donald Trump is handling his job is a factor in deciding the candidate they support in next month’s gubernatorial election.

Advocates are urging New Jersey’s next governor to increase the state’s investments and support for higher education.

New Jersey Policy Perspective president Gordon MacInnes says a pattern of disinvestment in the state’s public colleges and universities over the last quarter century has resulted in high costs and rising debt for students.

He says the Secretary of Education lacks the resources to analyze the performance of colleges and maximize opportunities.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Kim Guadagno is under fire for a campaign ad attacking Democrat Phil Murphy for saying he might make New Jersey a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants.

The ad says Murphy would protect unauthorized immigrants including deranged murderers.

Louis DiPaolo with the New Jersey Working Families Alliance says that mischaracterizes what Murphy was saying and calls the ad shameful.

Democrat Phil Murphy has raised more than three times as much as Republican Kim Guadagno in New Jersey’s race for governor.

Murphy collected $10.3 million while Guadagno raised $3 million.

Murphy still has $5.4 million left in his campaign coffers, Guadagno less than a million.

Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Peter Woolley says there’s a simple reason for the big fundraising disparity.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Republican candidate Kim Guadagno says she’ll lower Garden State property taxes if elected Governor.  Democrat Phil Murphy says she’s already had eight years to make it happen.

“So she can talk all she wants about audit’s and consolidations and property tax relief, all good and well, but where have you been?  With all due respect, we may not have everything right but I’ll tell you one thing we do have right.  We represent change.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

Recent polling shows a good number of Garden State voters don’t know enough about the Democratic or Republican gubernatorial candidates to decide who they’ll vote for in November’s election.

Republican Kim Guadagno is a former assistant attorney at the state and federal levels, and the first woman to serve as Monmouth County Sheriff. 

Democrat Phil Murphy is a former Goldman Sachs executive. He was an Ambassador to Germany under the Obama Administration, and is running his first campaign for elected office.

The debate will air live on WBGO starting at 7PM.

A month before the election, the major party candidates in New Jersey’s race for governor hold their first debate tomorrow night at the Performing Arts Center in Newark.

They’ll meet again next week in Wayne.

Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Peter Woolley expects the debates won’t attract enough voter interest to influence the outcome of the election.

Steve Adubato
Steve Adubato for WBGO News

Political analyst and television and radio host Steve Adubato, Jr. is giving you a chance to get to know who will be in charge of the Garden State following the November election.

New Jersey's Next Governor with Steve Adubato airs on WBGO Saturday October 14th at 6am.  During the one-hour program, Steve chats individually with Republican candidate Kim Guadagno and Democratic candidate Phil Murphy.

black bear
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

The first phase of New Jersey's bear hunting season gets underway Monday and continues through Saturday.

The first three days are limited to bow and arrow hunting. For the next three, hunters can also use muzzle-loading rifles.

And a firearms-only hunt is set for early December.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Robert Geist says 636 bears were culled last year, and the number of interactions between bears and humans dropped dramatically.

A proposed constitutional amendment on New Jersey’s ballot next month would limit how the money from environmental damage lawsuits is used.

The current state budget puts a $50 million cap on the amount of money from environmental contamination lawsuits that’s used for restoration projects at sites near where the pollution damaged the land or water.  The rest is diverted into the state’s general fund.

Debbie Mans with the Baykeeper clean-water advocacy organization says the proposed constitutional amendment would change that.

A Monmouth University poll finds that 51 percent of likely New Jersey voters support Democrat Phil Murphy in the race for governor while 37 percent favor Republican Kim Guadagno.

Poll director Patrick Murray says the 14-point gap is not insurmountable, but indications are Guadagno’s key proposal to reduce property taxes is not getting any traction

Election Day is still five weeks away but some New Jersey residents have already cast their ballot.

Registered voters can vote by mail for any reason.

Jesse Burns, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, says it's becoming more popular.

"Having election day Tuesday a set amount of hours isn't really that convenient for a lot of people and the kind of life that we live now, kids and work and things like that. So knowing that you can vote ahead of time on your own schedule is a lot more convenient for our modern society."

The Republican nominee in New Jersey's race for governor is releasing a new TV ad.

In the 30 second spot, Kim Guadagno highlights her plan to cut property taxes.

"That's the difference between Phil Murphy and me. He's already said he will raise your taxes."

Seton Hall public affairs professor Matthew Hale questions whether her ad is connecting with voters.

A New Jersey task force says a two percent cap on arbitration awards for police and firefighters has helped reduce the rate of property tax increases.

Republican Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon is one of Governor Christie's appointees on the task force studying the impact of the cap that's set to expire at year's end.

He says it's saved taxpayers more than half a billion dollars since 2011 by containing police and firefighter labor costs.

Murphy Has New TV Ad

Sep 26, 2017

Six weeks before New Jersey voters select a new governor, Democratic nominee Phil Murphy is releasing his first television ad for the general election.

Even though polls show Murphy with a big lead over his Republican opponent, he begins the ad by calling attention to her.

"The Christie playbook failed New Jersey. Now, Kim Guadagno wants another try."

Seton Hall public affairs professor Matthew Hale believes Murphy has identified Guadagno's weak spot as Chris Christie's unpopularity.

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