New Jersey is about to determine the Republican and Democratic candidates to replace Chris Christie as governor.
On June 6th, both the Democratic and the Republican gubernatorial primaries in New Jersey will be held, with the winners facing off in the general election on November 7th, 2017. Recently, former Vice President Joe Biden said in a speech that he believes this is the most important election until the 2020 presidential election.
“This is the single most important race in the country in the next three years, before the presidential race,” Biden recently said, according to the USA Today. “This is an off-year election year for the fourth-largest state in America, and the whole country — and not an exaggeration — the world is going to be looking.”
On the Republican side, there are five candidates: Kim Guadagno, the current lieutenant governor and secretary of state; Jack Ciattarelli, a state assemblyman; Steven Rogers, Nutley commissioner of public affairs; Joseph Rudy Rullo, a businessman; and Hirsh Singh, a businessman and engineer. Based on the polling, Kim Guadagno holds a very healthy lead over all of her competitors.
On the Democratic side, there are six candidates: Phil Murphy, former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. ambassador to Germany; Bill Brennan, a former firefighter and lawyer; Jim Johnson, former U.S. under secretary of the treasury for enforcement; Raymond Lesniak, state senator and former chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee; John Wisniewski, state assemblyman and former chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee; and Mark Zinna, president of the Tenafly Borough Council. Phil Murphy is in the lead based on polling.
Here’s what you need to know about the New Jersey gubernatorial primary as you head to the polls:
POLLING HOURS & LOCATIONS: In New Jersey, the polls are open from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m Eastern Time. As long as you’re in line before 8:00 p.m, you will be able to vote. You can use this tool via the New Jersey Secretary of State to locate your specific polling place.
REGISTRATION GUIDELINES: In order to vote in a gubernatorial primary today, you must be registered with the party in question. New Jersey does not have same-day registration, with the deadline for registration being 21 days prior to the election. However, if you are a registered voter who is unaffiliated with either party, you can vote in one of the primaries, but doing so is effectively a way of registering with that party. So, for example, if you’e an unaffiliated voter and you decide to vote in the Democratic primary today, you will leave the polling place as a registered Democrat.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: The New Jersey gubernatorial election is a highly important one, and the final result will no doubt have nationwide significance. After all, this person will be replacing Republican Governor Chris Christie, and the likely Democratic candidate, Phil Murphy, has run partly on an anti-Trump platform, so a Murphy victory in November would be in some ways a repudiation of the president. The Republican candidate, Kim Guadagno, was Chris Christie’s running mate during his gubernatorial election, but she has attempted to distance herself from the unpopular governor.