Republican Gov. Chris Christie won re-election handily in New Jersey on Tuesday, beating out Democrat and state Sen. Barbara Buono, the Associated Press said just after 8 p.m. Election Night. Christie had consistently led in the polls by double digits.
Christie became a prominent antagonist of teachers’ unions during his first term as New Jersey governor, and he also slashed K-12 spending before increasing school funding during the most recent legislative session. He has also pushed tax-credit scholarships as a school-choice mechanism.
Perhaps the most interesting election-related story to come out of New Jersey in the last few days leading up to the election was a confrontation between a New Jersey public school teacher, Melissa Tomlinson, at a campaign stop on Nov. 2. Christie and Tomlinson exchanged words about public school funding in the state, and when Tomlinson asked why Christie portrayed schools in New Jersey as “failure factories,” Christie shot back, “I’m tired of you people.” (Education Week Teacher blogger Anthony Cody discussed the story in a Nov. 3 blog post.)
It’s hard to imagine that anyone would be surprised by a confrontation between Christie and the education community at this point, and it clearly had no significant impact at the polls. It may, however, stiffen resistance many in the state already feel towards Christie’s agenda, including expanded school choice.
The lingering but crucial question is whether Christie will continue to face a state legislature dominated by Democrats, or whether he’ll get at least one chamber into the GOP column. That was still unclear approaching 9:00 p.m. on Election Night.
Photo: Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie celebrates his election victory in Asbury Park, N.J., on Tuesday evening after defeating Democratic challenger Barbara Buono. (Mel Evans/AP)
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.