NationNational PoliticsPolitics Now

Gov. Chris Christie celebrates win, pledges to set example for nation

PoliticsElectionsChris ChristieSocial IssuesHurricane Sandy (2012)

After winning reelection by an overwhelming margin, Gov. Chris Christie took the stage Tuesday night to give a victory speech not just to supporters in New Jersey, but also to the rest of the United States, who might be asked to vote for him in 2016.

Appearing before supporters in Asbury Park with his wife and four children, Christie frequently reminded listeners of his role helping the state recover from Superstorm Sandy, as well as his history of bipartisanship.

“We stand here tonight showing it is possible to put doing your job first, to put working together first, to fight for what you believe in, yet still stand by your principles and get something done for the people who elected you,” he said, to cheers. “I know that if we can do this in Trenton, N.J., maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now, see how it’s done.”

With more than four-fifths of the precincts reporting, Christie had captured 60% of the vote, making him the first Republican governor to get more than 50% of the vote in New Jersey since 1985.

Three weeks ago, New Jersey voters had elected Democrat Cory Booker to the U.S. Senate with 55% of the vote.

PHOTOS: Election Day 2013

Exit polls indicate that Christie performed strongly across demographic groups. Nearly half of Latinos voted for him, a 16-point increase from his 2009 win against incumbent Jon Corzine. Christie received 20% of the African American vote, double what he received in 2009. He also saw a bump in female supporters, winning 55% of women voters.

The strong support across those groups is something Christie referred to in his speech, specifically speaking to viewers who might be watching the speech from across the country.

“Tonight, a dispirited America angry with their dysfunctional government in Washington looks to New Jersey to say, ‘Is what I think happening really happening? Are people really coming together, are we really working, African Americans and Hispanics, suburbanites and city dwellers, farmers and teachers, are we really all working together?' Let me give the answer to everyone who is watching tonight: Under this government, our first job is to get the job done, and as long as I’m governor, that job will always, always be finished.”

The natural disaster a year ago that helped propel his easy reelection was never far from view. Christie referred to a “spirit of Sandy,” a term coined by a Baptist pastor, and said that he was governing by that spirit, promising not to leave anyone from New Jersey behind.

Christie’s challenger, Democrat Barbara Buono, gave a concession speech not long after polls in New Jersey closed. In her speech, she criticized the Democratic political establishment in New Jersey, which she said gave the race to Christie. Buono received almost no financial or organizational backing from the Democratic Party. She also continued to criticize Christie for his record on gay marriage, women’s issues and education.

PHOTOS: 2013's memorable political moments

“Like me, you saw another New Jersey, where our women and our students and our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters have been left behind,” she said to supporters. “And you, my friends, you decided to fight for them.”

In his speech, the famously garrulous Christie had an opportunity to ad lib. In one part, when he was speaking about hugs he gives to New Jersey residents, someone in the audience yelled, “We love you, Chris!”

“You’ll get your hug later, brother,” he answered.

A few more loud expressions of warmth rang out from the crowd.

“I guess there is open bar tonight,” Christie joked. “Welcome to New Jersey.”

Follow Politics Now on Twitter and Facebook

alana.semuels@latimes.com

Twitter: @alanasemuels

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
PoliticsElectionsChris ChristieSocial IssuesHurricane Sandy (2012)
  • The best political photos of 2013
    The best political photos of 2013

    From the congressional halls to the Jersey shore, here's a look at the best photos surrounding the year's political discourse in 2013. Read more: Debate over the Affordable Care Act. Timeline: Politics in 2013.

  • Chris Christie faces a minefield of issues on national stage
    Chris Christie faces a minefield of issues on national stage

    Chris Christie seems poised to cruise to a big victory in New Jersey, setting the stage for a potential presidential run in 2016. He’s spent the end of his campaign on a bus tour throughout the state, trying to drum up even more votes and prove that he can appeal to a wide spectrum of...

  • Gov. Chris Christie wins reelection in New Jersey
    Gov. Chris Christie wins reelection in New Jersey

    HOBOKEN, N.J. -- Republican Gov. Chris Christie romped to an easy reelection in this blue-leaning state Tuesday, according to Associated Press projections, appealing to voters across ideologies after a race that set him up for a potential presidential contest in 2016.

  • Bill de Blasio wins New York mayoral election
    Bill de Blasio wins New York mayoral election

    NEW YORK – With violent crime at historic lows but rents and homelessness at record highs, New Yorkers elected Democrat Bill de Blasio as their next mayor Tuesday after embracing his vow to bridge the gap between rich and poor and to end police tactics that critics call racist.

  • In tight race, Virginia elects Democrat McAuliffe as governor
    In tight race, Virginia elects Democrat McAuliffe as governor

    HERNDON, Va. – Democrats took the governor’s office in Virginia late Tuesday, as longtime party insider Terry McAuliffe outpaced his socially conservative rival in an election that raged with national arguments about the federal government shutdown and the rocky unveiling of the...

  • Airstrike list awaits Obama after Congress OKs Syria plan
    Airstrike list awaits Obama after Congress OKs Syria plan

    The Pentagon's top leadership has approved an ambitious target list for U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Thursday, but President Obama has not signed off on the plan, adding a level of uncertainty to the military strategy.

  • Internal effort announced to investigate Border Patrol abuses
    Internal effort announced to investigate Border Patrol abuses

    In an effort to speed up inquiries into Border Patrol agents, the agency overseeing them will criminally investigate officers suspected of excessive use of force and other abuses, its leader said Thursday as he announced changes to the agency's response to such allegations.

  • House approves Obama's plan to help Syrian rebels fight Islamic State
    House approves Obama's plan to help Syrian rebels fight Islamic State

    The House on Wednesday approved President Obama's plan to arm Syrian rebels in the fight against Islamic State militants, giving the administration a much-needed endorsement of its strategy to defeat the extremist group.

Comments
Loading