In the race to replace Gov. Chris Christie, Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat and former Wall Street banker, trounced Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican whose campaign was dragged underwater by her association with President Donald Trump and the nation’s mos unpopular governor.
Democrats have won all three of the marquee off-year races — New Jersey governor, Virginia governor, and New York City Mayor — for the first time since 1989.
These state and local elections are being viewed as a test of whether Democrats can score big victories over Republicans in the Trump era.
It’s the first major Election Day since 2016, so officials were closely monitoring potential cybersecurity issues as evidence mounts showing how Russia interfered with the US presidential contest as well as elections in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom hoping to undermine confidence in western democracy.
Observers were watching the Virginia’s governor race, where Democrat Ralph Northam, the current lieutenant governor, has a strong lead over former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie because polls tightened at the end.
But Democrats are celebrating despite that brief scare and the party will have veto power over Virginia’s next post-census electoral map for the first time since 1991.
Murphy, 60, will become the first Democrat in the governor’s office since another former Goldman Sachs executive occupied the post. Jon Corzine, who spent millions of his own money to win a US Senate seat in 2000 and then to become governor in 2005, lost his bid for re-election to Christie in 2009.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio coasted to a second term defeating Republican state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island and several third-party candidates.
GOP state Sen. Jennifer Beck, who flip-flopped on the first successful vote to override one of Gov. Chris Christie’s vetoes.
Beck co-sponsored the bipartisan gun bill making it harder for people seeking gun permits to expunge their mental health records.
She voted in favor of it when it passed the Legislature without opposition, then voted in favor of a first, unsuccessful attempt to override Christie before changing course when it came up a second time.
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