New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) continued picking up Democratic support Wednesday as the mayor of Scotch Plains became the 45th Democratic elected official to endorse his reelection bid.
Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover cited what he called Christie's moderate record, and his work surrounding Hurricane Sandy and on property tax reduction as his reasons for backing a second term. Glover's defection is another in a long list of Democrats, who have abandoned Democratic nominee Barbara Buono. Buono trails Christie by 30 points in the polls.
Glover made the announcement Wednesday during a joint appearance with Christie at a diner in the Union County suburb.
"The governor put aside partisan politics to serve the people of New Jersey," Glover told The Huffington Post in a phone interview Wednesday. "The governor has shown the kind of leadership needed in New Jersey. The governor is one who thinks for himself. I see him as a moderate and a deep thinker. While him and I may not agree on every issue, the one thing we agree on is the need to move New Jersey forward."
Glover said that in addition to Christie's work after Hurricane Sandy, which caused large scale power outages and wind damage in Scotch Plains, he supports Christie's views on local government reform, including a property tax cap and changes to public employee benefits.
Glover is the first Democrat in history to be directly elected Scotch Plains mayor. He said that the town's history of electing Republicans to local office did not influence his decision to back Christie, who carried Scotch Plains in a landslide in the 2009 election.
However, even though he is backing Christie, Glover may not come out unscathed. Union County Republican Party Chairman Phil Morin told HuffPost that the GOP plans to field "a strong Republican candidate" in order to win back Scotch Plains, a GOP stronghold. When told of Morin's plans, Glover said "bring it on."
Scotch Plains is next to Westfield, home Christie's top allies including GOP strategist Mike DuHaime, Republican National Committeeman Bill Palatucci, state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., state Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and former gubernatorial chief of staff Rich Bagger.
Bramnick told HuffPost that he hopes Glover follows up his Christie endorsement with an endorsement for Republican state Assembly candidate John Campbell Jr. Campbell is seeking to unseat either Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Plainfield) or Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Scotch Plains) this year.
Glover told HuffPost that he has endorsed Green in the Assembly race so far. Stender, who is the Scotch Plains Democratic Party chairwoman, did not return a message left for comment.
Buono campaign spokesman David Turner released a statement Wednesday attacking Christie's economic record, a familiar campaign theme for Buono.
"By endorsing Governor Christie today, Mayor Glover is declaring that the Governor's failed economic record is good enough for Scotch Plains," Turner said. "The reality is that Scotch Plains, and towns like it across New Jersey, cannot afford another four years of Governor Christie's policies that protect the wealthy at the expense of working and middle class families."