In Choosing A Governor, NJ Voters Have Some Homework To Do

On Tuesday, November 5, New Jersey residents will have an opportunity to cast their vote in the gubernatorial race as well as answer two questions being posed to the public on the ballot. While most polls and news sources are citing the incumbent Chris Christie (R) as the frontrunner, and television has been inundated with advertising simply declaring him “The Governor,” there are actually other people on the ballot.

In addition to a handful of third party candidates, State Senator Barbara Buono (D) is Christie’s main challenger for the governor’s seat. Both candidates have been seen and heard in agreement that the most important challenges facing the governor of New Jersey are the economy and job creation. But they are also known to be quite divided on many of the other topics typically debated in a political race, such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and gun control.

While the differences in viewpoint can be generally understood by each of the candidates’ candor in interviews and debates, it is a little more difficult to see those differences in black and white. On her website, Buono simply outlines her positions on various issues. Christie, who is seeking his second and final term in office, focuses mostly on his accomplishments as governor on his site but has not laid out positions on hot topic issues clearly.

For instance, Christie credits himself for returning “fiscal sanity and accountability to state government,” working across party lines, and making New Jersey a more competitive place to start or grow a business – without any unbiased sources to support the claims. Buono, on the other hand, has detailed her thoughts on 11 issues (everything from healthcare to transportation to “Latino New Jerseyans”) and even created an accompanying campaign video for some – but that may not be helpful for voters trying to grasp what she will actually be able to accomplish in office.

With both candidates seemingly focused more on making themselves look good instead of concentrating on real issues at hand (which one might argue is typical in a political campaign), voters have been left with a bit of extra homework to do if they truly want to uncover the candidates’ stance on the issues. But it’s not impossible. To see them in action, check out the most recent and final gubernatorial debate as well as their first debate , which was held early last month.

For each of the candidates’ plea for governor in their own words, voters can check out their individual campaign websites: William Araujo (Independent Democrat), Jeff Boss (NSA Did 9/11 Party), Barbara Buono (Democrat), Chris Christie (Republican), Kenneth Kaplan (a Tea Party candidate), Steven Welzer (Green Party). Hank Schroeder (Independent) does not have a website, but his ballot statement has been filed with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission.

To find your polling place, check out the New Jersey Voter Information System and for more information on voting in Hudson County, visit the Hudson County Clerk’s website. And remeber to get out and vote on November 5!

More Nov 5th Pre-Election Coverage:

Lana Diaz

is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Hudson Reporter, Jersey City Magazine, 07030, Palisade Magazine, and other publications. As a Wordsmith, she currently hosts various events around the area. For more information, visit