Standing with local Republicans in Scotch Plains, gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno hit familiar themes like her “circuit breaker” plan to reduce property taxes.
“In Scotch Plains, on average, that means you will be saving approximately $2,900. Now, that may not be a lot of money to a multimillionaire from Goldman Sachs, but it’s certainly a lot of money to the people of Scotch Plains,” she said.
Guadagno said her plan would save the average New Jersey property taxpayer $800, but it would cost the state $1.5 billion. Still, she challenged her Democratic opponent, the former Goldman Sachs executive, Phil Murphy.
“We have still yet to hear what Phil Murphy’s plan is to lower property taxes, the number one problem facing the people of New Jersey,” she continued.
Guadagno’s trying to chip away at Murphy’s double-digit lead, which is a tough task with her campaign bank account running on fumes, compared to Murphy’s. Guadagno raised $3.9 million through Oct. 24 and most of it, $2 million, is from the Republican Governors Association. She’s spent $3.3 million, with $632,000 in reserve. Murphy raised $13.3 million, of which $2.2 million is from the Democratic Governors Association. He’s spent $9.8 million and has $3.5 million left. It leaves Guadagno with little money to spend on getting out the vote which is critical in a low turnout, off-year election.
“Let’s just say I have a very robust plan for getting out the vote on Tuesday, and we’ve planned for that for a very long time because we know this is going to be a low turnout election. We plan to get every single Republican, and Independent and like-minded Democrat out,” remarked Guadagno.
New Jersey has 840,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. But with 2.4 million unaffiliated voters up for grabs, the state’s sent both Democrats and Republicans to the governor’s office. Guadagno’s served as Gov. Chris Christie’s second-in-command for two terms, and Tuesday, he warned elections run in cycles.
“It has been 55 years since either party got three terms in a row in the governorship, 55 years! 1961, ’62 since the last time that happened. So, New Jersey has had a tradition of having the pendulum swing back and forth, between the two parties. So if the lieutenant governor were to win, she would be swimming against a historical tide. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but that’s the fact,” said Christie.
Behind in both polls and fundraising, Guadagno’s got the chock full public schedule you’d expect from an underdog. But there are only seven days remaining in this campaign.