Republican Chris Christie is the next governor of New Jersey, ousting Democrat Jon Corzine and leaving Independent Chris Daggett to consider that those who want to vote Independent far outnumber those who do.
The New Jersey Sierra Club, which had a press release to us by 10:23, couldn’t resist a parting jab at the incumbent: If you’d done better on the environment, guy, you coulda won.
The group had endorsed Daggett, while another key green group, the New Jersey Environmental Federation, chose Christie. Corzine was largely left out, accused by some environmentalists of failing to keep promises, being slow to act on global warming goals and opening the door to developers.
Campaign director David Pringle of the New Jersey Environmental Federation, not surprisingly, sounded optimistic about Christie’s win.
“Governor-elect Chris Christie offered the strongest environmental agenda, the best critique of the past four years and the best chance of breaking the status quo in a positive way, which is so desperately needed,” he said. “That’s what we endorsed him, and we look forward to working with him.”
Matt Elliott of Environment New Jersey, which endorsed no one, hoping instead to inject environmental issues into the race, was more cautious: “New Jersey’s next governor faces some big, critical environmental challenges. I hope that Christie will rise to the challenges before him… he needs to promote renewable energy in a big way while opposing more coal plants and more coal power lines.
“He needs to figure out permanent, dedicated funding for open space. And he needs to clean up our toxic sites and protect our precious air and water resources.”
The Sierra Club, in its statement, talked up Daggett but congratulated Christie on his win.
“We believe we will be able to work with him on trying to improve New Jersey ’s environment and wish him success,” the group said. “We plan to hold him to the commitments he made to the environment while campaigning.”
As of 11 p.m., the open-space ballot question was looking like it had a strong chance of succeeding — barely. The vote was 51 percent to 49 percent, according to Gannett.
This story was updated Wednesday, Nov. 4.
More: Chris Christie wins NJ Governor’s Race (Star-Ledger)
New Jersey: Where the least unpopular man wins (Huffington Post)
Congratulations: Now comes the hard part (Star-Ledger)