New Jersey voters Tuesday elected Democrat Phil Murphy as their next governor, ending two terms of Republican control and setting the stage for shifts in the state’s approach to spending, collective bargaining and social issues.
The Associated Press declared Murphy, a former Wall Street executive who has never served in public office, the winner in the race to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Murphy’s win signals a rebuke of Christie, who has become unpopular in New Jersey in recent years and is prevented by term limits from running for a third term. With Democrats expected to maintain control of both chambers of the state legislature, Murphy is well-positioned to undo many aspects of Christie’s legacy, from gun control to state spending.
He defeated Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who has served in Christie’s administration since 2010. Murphy had led Guadagno by double digits throughout the campaign. Guadagno, a former sheriff, ran on a promise to lower property taxes but struggled to distance her campaign from Christie.
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