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Carl A. Bergmanson

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Carl A. Bergmanson
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Governor of New Jersey
Former candidate
PartyDemocratic
Carl A. Bergmanson was a 2013 Democratic candidate for Governor of New Jersey. The primary election took place on June 4, 2013, followed by the general election on November 5, 2013.[1]

Elections

2013

See also New Jersey gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2013

Bergmanson was running for Governor of New Jersey in 2013. He filed for the Democratic primary election but ultimately did not qualify for the primary ballot.[1]

Incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono each faced a single challenger in the primary election on June 4, although neither presented a substantial challenge at the polls: Christie and Buono won their respective party nominations with roughly 90% of the vote.[2][3]

Former Atlantic City Councilman Seth Grossman was the sole Republican to brave a run against the popular first term governor, whose star had long been on the rise before going meteoric in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Grossman's campaign criticized Christie for being overly moderate, while Buono's opponent Troy Webster, advisor to the mayor of East Orange, believed he was uniquely suited to making New Jersey friendlier to "the working poor and middle class families who have been literally 'thrown under the bus.'"[4] Grossman and Webster were endorsed by the weekly publication NJ Today.[5]

In New Jersey, gubernatorial candidates have 30 days to select a lieutenant gubernatorial running mate with whom to share their ticket in the general election. Immediately after launching his re-election campaign, Christie secured his running mate, 2009 successful teammate and current Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Buono, meanwhile, waited until July 29 to formally announce her choice of union leader Milly Silva, the executive vice president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, as her running mate.[6][7] The two-woman ticket went up against incumbent pairing Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno in addition to a number of third party opponents in the general election contest that took place November 5, 2013.

Christie was heavily favored to win re-election, with his campaign raising nearly double that of Buono's in the primary and maintaining a decisive double-digit advantage in the polls throughout the election season.[8][9] In the final week before the general election, Christie boasted a staggering 24.3-point average polling lead.[10] He also had bipartisan support, which was crucial in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by over 700,000, according to party registration statistics provided by the New Jersey Department of State.[11]

Since 1977, New Jersey gubernatorial primary and general election candidates can qualify for a public funding program whereby candidates who raise a minimum amount of money are dispensed tax-generated funds, controlled by the state election law enforcement commission, in direct proportion to campaign donations given from the public. In 2013, the qualifying sum for primary gubernatorial candidates was $380,000.[12] The purpose of the program is to lessen the influence of corporate contributions in elections. On February 2, 2013, then-presumptive Democratic nominee Barbara Buono's campaign reported that it had surpassed the $380,000 mark.[13] By that time, Christie's campaign had already raised $2 million. Unlike in 2009, Christie declined to use matching funds in the 2013 primary, but he decided in August to opt into the program for the general election phase. Under the program, Christie became eligible for an additional $8 million, approximately. The terms also required him to participate in two debates with Buono before the general election.[13][14]

In November 2012, the New Jersey gubernatorial election was rated by the Washington Post as one of the top five races to watch in 2013.[15] Christie's high-wattage presence notwithstanding, the contest never rose to the level of excitement originally anticipated. This was due in part to the decision of former Newark Mayor Cory Booker to run for U.S. Senate rather than attempt to oust Christie in 2013. Booker had long been considered the Democratic front-runner and best hope to take on the juggernaut incumbent, until announcing his - ultimately winning - Senate bid, and leaving comparatively unknown Democrats on their own to be steamrolled by Christie, whose upward career trajectory and bipartisan appeal were taken virtually for granted on the eve of his second term re-election. To this extent, it is not easy to revisit early reports predicting Christie would be vulnerable to losing his seat in 2013 without feeling incredulous.[16]


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