A handful of folks showed up at Casino-in-the-Park in Jersey City on Tuesday night, many of them Democratic campaign workers who either grumbled at a TV screen or gave Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who was present with his wife Maureen, an ovation for helping to bring out the vote for Jon Corzine in Hudson County.
Hoboken resident Corzine, the Democratic incumbent governor, was upset by Christie in the governor’s race on Election Night, losing by 3 percentage points statewide. But in staunchly Democratic Hudson County, it was an easy victory for the now-ousted governor as he received 76,145 votes to Christie’s 29,301 with 439 of 447 voting districts accounted for as of 12:13 a.m Wednesday morning.
Independent candidate Christopher Daggett got 3,639 votes, or 3 percent of the county’s vote.
“I don’t anticipate him coming in here with some kind of revenge mode.” – Jerramiah Healy
“I am hoping the new governor recognizes this city is important to the state in terms of amount of jobs that come here and the taxes that come from here,” Healy said. “I don’t anticipate him coming in here with some kind of revenge mode.”
Others at the gathering were concerned that Christie would target Hudson County and specifically Jersey City to not receive any state funding. They also mentioned that Christie might pursue more corruption investigations locally, since the July 23 FBI sting of public officials included many from Jersey City. Christie is the former U.S. Attorney General who investigated dozens of political leaders in this state for corruption.
There was much speculation Tuesday that Christie, with the help of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, carried out the arrests to score political points with voters.
Worried and elated
At Casino in the Park with friends on Tuesday night, Weehawken resident Piero Romano worried about his job as a music teacher for students from pre-K through second grade in Weehawken.
“Christie is no friend of public education, and had made his opposition known to the NJEA [the state teachers’ union],” said Romano, wearing a NJEA for Corzine button on his suit jacket. “He’s going to slash teachers’ jobs.”
Jersey City resident Zorina Molina worked on Corzine’s campaign. She got to meet him and engage him on a variety of issues, including helping her son Frank, one of the police officers injured the Reed Street shootout in July.
“I found Corzine to be a very sincere man, and that appealed to me as a voter,” Molina said. “I am not sure about Christie.”
Jersey City resident Tito Robles, who co-owns a horse breeding farm in Flemington, said in a telephone interview late Tuesday night that he voted for Corzine in the 2005 general election but voted this time for Christie. Robles said Christie was the only candidate who sat down with Robles and other horsemen across the state to discuss bringing gambling to Meadowlands Race Track with the installation of slot machines.
“I tried to reach out to Corzine but he didn’t sit down with us,” Robles said. “Christie was willing to do so, which is what changed my mind.”
Winning easily in Hudson County were Democratic candidates running for Assembly seats.
Anthony Chiappone and Charles Mainor won in the 31st District over Republicans Irene Kim Asbury and Marie Day and independents Neil Scott and Omar Dyer. Chiappone is being investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office over allegedly depositing an aide’s paycheck in his campaign fund. Chiappone has said he is innocent of wrongdoing.
Joan Quigley and Vincent Prieto won in the 32nd with minimal opposition from longtime political gadfly Herb Shaw.
Ruben Ramos and Caridad Rodriguez in the 33rd District prevailed over Beth Hamburger and John Barbadillo.
Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at