It’s hard to find a Democrat more diametrically opposed to Republican Gov. Chris Christie than state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex).
Greenstein is a vocal proponent of gay marriage, funding for Planned Parenthood, stricter gun control laws, higher minimum wage, and full restoration of the Earned Income Tax Credit. She was an outspoken opponent of the pension and health benefits law signed by Christie that dramatically increased out-of-pocket costs for the thousands of public employees who live in her 14th District, which straddles Mercer and Middlesex counties.
Yet Greenstein’s running mate, Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Mercer), is running online campaign ads proclaiming his bipartisan cooperation with Christie. “Working together with the governor, we balanced the budget and cut business taxes,” Benson says proudly. Benson isn’t alone: Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Bergen), one of Christie’s favorite whipping boys, is runningvirtually the same web ad in the 38th District. The online ads for Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) proclaim how he worked cooperatively with Christie to keep the Vineland Developmental Center from closing.
Even Greenstein’s latest web ads stress bipartisanship and public service, and do not mention Christie’s opponent, Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), at all -- even though Greenstein has campaigned alongside Buono more than almost any Democrat.
“It’s a question of numbers,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Center. “The polling data they’re looking at shows that there is no way that Barbara Buono is going to carry their districts. They need to get people who are going to vote to reelect Christie to split their tickets to vote to reelect them, and they want these people to see them as part of the Christie team.”
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