NJ Governor race

February 4, 2009 3:40:58 PM PST
Former New Jersey federal prosecutor Chris Christie kicked off his campaign for the republican nomination for governor Tuesday. He said he's the one who can get the garden state growing again.

He's known as the corruption-busting former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Now Republican Chris Christie wants to be governor. He kicked his campaign off with a 2-day bus tour including a stop at a Hamilton Township diner where he greeted a lunchtime crowd.

"I will not flinch from making the tough decisions that need to be made and providing the leadership we need to have," Christie said.

The 46-year-old father of 4 from Mendham will have to beat out 3 other primary rivals for the chance to take on incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine.

"I like Jon Corzine. He's a good man and we've always gotten along well. It's nothing personal. It's just about the fact he's been an ineffective governor."

A new poll gives Christie a big boost. It puts him ahead of Corzine by 6 points.

"I'm very disappointed in Corzine. I thought he would do a lot more for the state but he didn't, you know," expressed Madeline Buttich of Trenton.

The governor would not discuss the poll results.

"I think the people of New Jersey expect me to be working on the recession, trying to get jobs, grow our economy. I don't think they're much interested in politics at this stage," said Governor Corzine.

A lot of people don't know anything about Chris Christie other than he's the guy who convicted over 100 corrupt politicians in New Jersey including Sharpe James and Wayne Bryant.

So how will a former prosecutor handle the state's huge budget and economic problems?

"Remember when I became U.S. attorney, I never prosecuted a case and look what happened over the next 7 years, because I know how to motivate people, I know how to lead people and I know how to listen."

Christie said he'd offer specifics on positions shortly right now he wants to introduce himself to voters.

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