Christie's Push for Republicans Yields Mixed Results in New Jersey Races

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who campaigned across the U.S. to boost Republicans in the midterm elections, had mixed results in his own state.

Christie stumped for Republican Jon Runyan, a former Philadelphia Eagles lineman who unseated first-term Democratic congressman John Adler, 50 percent to 47 percent, according to the Associated Press. At least two other Democrats, U.S. Representatives Rush Holt and Frank Pallone, fended off Christie-backed challenges.

Republicans gained at least 60 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday to wrest control from Democrats. Christie had projected his party could pick up 65 to 70 seats. Republicans also now hold 29 governorships, gaining a majority for the first time since 2006.

“I just tried to help wherever I can help,” Christie said today. “What role did it play in the end? The campaign is about the candidate -- I might have given them some help, but that’s all.”

New Jersey Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, a Democrat buoyed by contributions from unions including those Christie has attacked, defeated Republican state Senate incumbent Tom Goodwin in a special election. Christie made three campaign appearances on Goodwin’s behalf, including one the night before the election.

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Greenstein’s victory showed voters are rejecting Christie’s stances against public unions. Democrats won another Senate election in Camden County.

‘Major Statement’

“This was a major statement to the governor, there were two Senate seats up in New Jersey and he lost both of them,” Sweeney said. “The people of New Jersey don’t like ‘my-way-or- the-highway’ and this was a loud and clear statement of that.”

In New Jersey’s delegation to the U.S. House, Runyan’s defeat of Adler will reduce the Democratic edge to 7-6 next year. Christie had called the contest the most important to him in the state.

Holt, a Democrat from the Princeton area, defeated a Christie-backed challenge from Scott Sipprelle, and Pallone overcame Anna Little, according to unofficial results.

In Iowa, where Christie stumped for former governor Terry Branstad, the Republican beat incumbent Democrat Chet Culver. In Oregon, where Christie also made an appearance, Democrat John Kitzhaber was projected to win by The Oregonian of Portland, citing the newspaper’s projections.

Christie, 48, said he campaigned in Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico, Illinois and Michigan, where he saw prospects of Republican victories in areas with traditionally Democratic leanings.

“They want people who are going to take a commonsense conservative approach to their money,” Christie said. “That’s a pretty clear message that’s been sent, both here inside the state and around the country.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp, in Trenton, New Jersey, at tdopp@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net.

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