New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) reelection campaign was backed by four more Democratic elected officials Monday, bringing the total to 36 statewide.
Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton (D) joined three members of the Spring Lake Borough Council in backing Christie over Democratic gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono, PolitickerNJ.com reports. The four Spring Lake officials follow Democratic defections from Buono, who trails Christie by more than 30 percentage points in recent polls.
“Like many other communities up and down the shoreline, Superstorm Sandy brought a wave of destruction here in Spring Lake that left us with a complex and costly recovery," Naughton told PolitickerNJ.com in a statement. "We knew our effort would depend not only on talented local resources, but a strong partner who understood what was at stake. We found that partner in Governor Chris Christie.”
Spring Lake is located in the Republican stronghold of Monmouth County and Christie easily carried the community in when he was first elected in 2009.
Christie has been backed by two of the state's most powerful Democrats, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and state Sen. Brian Stack, in his reelection campaign. DiVincenzo and Stack, who both command powerful voter turnout armies and are popular in their home regions, have been long time Christie allies. A third powerful Democrat, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, has not ruled out backing Christie. Fulop is considered a likely gubernatorial candidate in either 2017 or 2021.
Buono has been backed by one Republican elected official.
The defections come as Buono struggles to hold her party together. After entering the race in December, she endured a month-long campaign by top Democrats to find an alternative. After proposing Assemblyman Jason O'Donnell (D-Bayonne) as her pick for state Democratic Party chairman, a post traditionally made by the party's gubernatorial nominee, she faced an all-out civil war from Democratic leaders. Buono and opposition forces later compromised behind Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie to lead the state party.
Top Democrats hosted a unity breakfast in Buono's honor last month, following the party chairman battle.
Buono's campaign though remained upbeat after the latest defections.
"Anyone supporting Governor Christie believes that his failed economic record of nearly 400,000 people unemployed and 20 percent property tax increases is good enough for New Jersey. It also means they support his self-serving, right-wing views that continue to stand in the way of civil rights," Buono spokesman David Turner told HuffPost in an email. "Come November, a majority of New Jerseyans will support Senator Buono because she is the only candidate willing to fight for all New Jerseyans while Governor Christie only seeks to further his national political ambitions."
Also on HuffPost:
"It's Not My Time" (3 Doors Down)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/04/chris-christie-2012-decision-_n_993910.html" target="_hplink">(Oct. 4, 2011) --</a></strong> Christie announced that he will not run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, vowing that "now is not my time." He quipped to New Jersey residents "whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me."
"Need You Now" (Lady Antebellum)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/11/chris-christie-mitt-romney_n_1005601.html" target="_hplink"><strong>LEBANON, N.H. (Oct. 11, 2011) --</strong></a> After dismissing calls to run for president himself, Christie endorsed Romney, telling the GOP that he is the candidate we need now.
"How Do I Live" (LeAnn Rimes)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/07/chris-christie-town-hall_n_1133756.html" target="_hplink">WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (Dec. 7, 2011) --</a></strong> At a local town hall, Christie did not take kindly to a <a href="http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2011/12/video_chris_christie_asked_if.html" target="_hplink">constituent's question</a> about how his administration conducts these types of meetings. He showed the individual little mercy, going "if I plant questions, why the hell did I call on you?"
"Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (Elton John)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/08/chris-christie-mic-checked-occupy-wall-street_n_1136762.html" target="_hplink">(Dec. 8, 2011) --</a></strong> Occupy Wall Street protesters interrupted Christie during an appearance in Iowa, making him a target of the movement's "mic check" trend.
"Shut Up" (The Black Eyed Peas)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/chris-christie-warren-buffett_n_1294579.html" target="_hplink">(Feb. 21, 2012) --</a></strong> In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Christie had some choice words for Warren Buffett, surrounding the billionaire investor's desire to be taxed at a higher rate. "Just write a check and shut up," he remarked.
"American Idiot" (Green Day)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/christie-argues-with-veteran_n_1334963.html" target="_hplink">(March 9, 2012) --</a></strong> Christie argued with a former Navy SEAL over the New Jersey's plans to reconfigure public universities. The result? Some fire from the governor's tongue, as he called the veteran an "idiot."
"Call Me Maybe" (Carly Rae Jepsen)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/13/chris-christie-talks-vp-p_n_1423271.html" target="_hplink">(April 13, 2012) --</a></strong> Throughout Mitt Romney's run for the White House, Christie made it known that he was open to a vice presidential nod (should Romney ask him).
"Rocky Ground" (Bruce Springsteen)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/chris-christie-sleeping-bruce-springsteen-_n_1438337.html" target="_hplink">(April 19, 2012) --</a></strong> Christie vehemently denied reports that he was sleeping at a Bruce Springsteen concert in New York City. <em><strong>
"I Don't Really Care" (Waka Flocka Flame)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/chris-christie-jimmy-kimmel_n_1465608.html" target="_hplink">(April 30, 2012) --</a> Christie responded to jokes comedian Jimmy Kimmel made about his weight at the 2012 White House Correspondents Dinner, throwing Sofia Vergara into the mix. "I figured I was in the zone of danger," he said.
"Ready Or Not" (The Fugees)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/chris-christie-gop-keynote-convention_n_1774525.html" target="_hplink">(Aug. 14, 2012) --</a></strong> After entertaining the idea of running for president and making Mitt Romney's short list of VP candidates, Christie was named the keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. "I'll try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we're in and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them," he told <em>USA Today</em>.