Voters will have several candidates to choose from apart from Phil Murphy (D) and Kim Guadagno (R), although they are not likely to learn much about the independent candidates as only one has spent any money.
If history is any indication, all the independents combined will get just a small fraction of the vote. Even in 2009, when the relatively well-known Chris Daggett, a former state environmental protection commissioner who now heads the Dodge Foundation, spent a respectable $1.9 million running as an independent, he got just 6 percent of the vote.
The Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, the Green Party candidate, has been active both as a candidate — Jill Stein, the Greens’ 2016 presidential candidate, boosted his candidacy at the party’s national convention held in Newark last July — and as an activist for immigrant and refugee rights. He is the only independent candidate to have reported any fundraising activity to the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, having spent almost $50,000 so far.Candidate Statement 2nd Quarter Campaign Finance Report 1st Quarter Campaign Finance Report Financial Disclosure Form
Gina Genovese, a former mayor of Long Hill who worked to promote shared municipal services in founding Courage to Connect NJ, is running as an independent. She has some name recognition, but so far, no money. Her slogan is “Reduce Property Taxes,” something Guadagno has made the lynchpin of her campaign.Candidate Statement 2nd Quarter Campaign Finance Report 1st Quarter Campaign Finance Report Financial Disclosure Form
Matthew Riccardi of Neptune is the standard-bearer of the Constitution Party. According to his campaign website, Riccardi is a former Marine, a Christian, and married father of three. He has signed a six-point “contract” with voters that includes his promise not to sign any bill or approve any program that increases the state budget or debt.Financial Disclosure Form
The Libertarian candidate is Peter Rohrman, another former Marine who is operations director for an Internet service provider and single father of two boys. His platform mimics that of the national Libertarian Party and includes legalizing marijuana and loosening gun laws.Candidate Statement Financial Disclosure Form
Vincent Ross of Edison is the final independent, running under the banner “We The People.” He does not appear to have any presence online.Candidate Statement Financial Disclosure Form