Democrats nominated wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive and one-time diplomat Phil Murphy and Republicans picked Christie's top deputy, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, in New Jersey's primary Tuesday, the only statewide contest this year along with Virginia, which goes to the polls next Tuesday.
Murphy, a former US ambassador to Germany who became wealthy during a career at Goldman Sachs, spread political donations around the state in the run-up to the primary, spurring accusations from his rivals that he was buying the election. He poured more than $20 million into the contest and won endorsements from the state's powerful county political machines. Christie, who remained neutral during the campaign, said Tuesday that he voted for Guadagno.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got some questions today about President Trump's London tweets, including his attacks on Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Unofficial election returns posted by the online news service NJ Spotlight showed Murphy as the Democratic victor, with 49 percent of his party's vote after 73 percent of results were tabulated.
He dismissed Trump's tweets going after the mayor as "public discourse" and then told the reporters, "Donald Trump has been the greatest thing for your industry".
Murphy blurs the line between establishment and insurgent just as Democrats reckon with whether their best candidates should come from within or outside the traditional party structure.
Jack Antonoff of the bands Fun and Bleachers, backed Democrat Jim Johnson, as did his girlfriend Lena Dunham.
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Opposition Democrats have said that the leaks occurred after Comey was sacked and no longer a government official. Pressed on the issue Friday, Mr Trump said: "I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future".
More recent polls - including Quinnipiac and Stockton University surveys last month - found Murphy and Guadagno ahead of their foes.
At a speech earlier this year in Montclair, near Paterson, Murphy said he "lived in Germany twice". The full 120-member Legislature is on the ballot in November. "The only way to solve the property tax crisis in New Jersey is with a more equitable distribution of state funding for schools", he said.
FILE- In this May 11, 2017, file photo, Phil Murphy participates in a Democratic gubernatorial primary debate in Newark, N.J. New Jersey voters are heading to the polls to pick their candidates to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday, June 6.
They face challenges from former Wall Street executive Phil Murphy, former Teaneck firefighter Bill Brennan, state Sen.
Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (gwah-DAH'-noh) chuckled as she was photographed emerging from the voting booth in Monmouth Beach on Tuesday. Ray Lesniak, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (wiz-NOO'-skee) and Tenafly Councilman Mark Zinna.
Guadagno was announced as the Republican candidate by the AP shortly after, around 9:15 p.m.
A number of South Jersey nominees were decided as well. The winners will go on to compete in the November 7 general election.
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (gwah-DAHN'-noh) is the leading Republican candidate.
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