Liberal – Babatunde Ojo
Governor Chris Christie’s legecay will be remembered throughout New Jersey longer than any of his predecessors, but for all the wrong reasons.
Christie will be remembered by teachers for his “supposed” disdain of them; by conspiracy theorists for his involvement in Bridge Gate; by his supporters who questioned his actions of closing down state institutions during July 4; by Sandy victims still recovering from the hurricane that struck in 2012 and many more.
Unfortunately, due to his negative impact on New Jersey voters, Murphy appears to be able to sweep the current gubernatorial race. This may create an endless cycle of which candidate will be voted in as governor of NJ, and how they can mess it up like their predecessors.
Corzine (D) was before Christie and everyone hated him. Christie (R) started off well, but ended up being a disappoint. I can only imagine what to expect from Murphy (or what not to expect considering how ambitious his plans are).
Independent – Beshoy Shokralla
With the Governor race around the corner, it’s a good time to reflect on the previous governor and the legacy he has left behind. Chris Christie has been a controversial man throughout his tenure. He started off as a “tell em how it is” kind of guy, much like Trump, and thrusted himself into controversy by picking fights with the Teacher’s Union, and would continue to be controversial through events like BridgeGate, Hurricane Sandy handling, and joining Trump’s Transition team after previously calling him out.
There’s a lot one can say about Chris Christie, but from a nonpartisan perspective, I’d describe his tenure as tragic. There are so many mishandled situations, even his response to Hurricane Sandy, which he was initially praised for, ended in a disaster when it came out that the administration poorly followed through with recovery. His “tough guy” attitude, picking fights with unions, and falling in line behind Trump after losing to him are all so stereotypically Republican that it’s just plain offensive. At the end of his career, Christie has accomplished nothing positive that I can remember, but has created a lot of memorable tragic moments. In the words of the man he follows: “Sad!”
Conservative – Adrian Wong
Chris Christie’s time as governor of New Jersey will forever be seen as one of the least popular governors in United States history. His approval rating bottomed out at 15% according to a Quinnipiac University poll. According to FiveThirtyEight, this places Christie as the governor with the fourth lowest approval rating of all time, behind a pair of convicts (Taft and Blagojevich) and a man to nominated his own daughter to the United States senate (Murkowski).
Christie sunk this low due to suspicion of him being implicated in the Bridge Gate scandal, and many smaller events such as his trip to Island Beach State Park which have also chipped away at his approval rating. More recently he’s done some comical acts like going on WFAN radio and calling “Mike from Montclair” a “communist.” Christie also became a laughingstock when pictures emerged of him appearing to confront a fan at a Milwaukee Brewers game. His involvement in the Trump campaign also caused some to quit supporting Christie.
His reign as governor will still affect New Jersey after he is gone. Kim Guadagno is struggling to compete with Phil Murphy, largely due to her ties to Christie. Oftentimes, when a major politician from one party is so disliked, he or she will cause votes to shift away from their party, seemingly ignoring the quality of the candidates in the upcoming election. At the end of the day, Christie’s mistakes have not only hurt his reputation, but also hurt the Republican Party in New Jersey.