As Barbara Buono continues her campaign for governor against Chris Christie, she is getting some help from Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15), chairwoman of her campaign. Watson Coleman told NJ Today Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor that Buono will have enough money for a successful campaign, especially considering that Christie has a record she believes won’t resonate with the majority of New Jerseyans.
Christie has raised a lot more money than Buono for the gubernatorial race. When asked how Buono’s campaign can make up for the deficit, Watson Coleman said, “By reaching out to people and having our campaign on the ground and having the opportunity to talk to all of those single individuals and middle class and working class families who have been suffering under Gov. Christie’s policies.”
In order to get maximum public matching funds, Buono would have to raise about $250,000 per week by the June 4 primary. While Watson Coleman said that could be possible, she added that she doesn’t believe the campaign’s issue is not having enough money to get the message out.
“I think that the governor can have 10 times the amount of money he has now and he’s still going to have to answer for all his failed policies in the state of New Jersey,” Watson Coleman said, citing the failed economic policy, high unemployment, lack of education funding and the failure to address women’s health issues as examples. “So we’re gonna have the money we need to get the message out and the governor’s gonna need a lot of money to get his message out over us.”
The Buono campaign has released a new web video titled “Always Proud” that uses some of the same clips as a Christie campaign ad. Watson Coleman said the Buono campaign wanted to use it to show Christie inaccurately depicting reality.
“I think that once the governor makes his public pronouncement or proclamation or shows himself in such a way, that’s fair game to address it,” she said.
The Christie administration has announced that an Orthodox Jewish rabbinical school in Lakewood will receive about $10.6 million in public funds. When she had been asked if she thought that was coincidental considering Christie received endorsements from some Orthodox Jewish leaders, Watson Coleman said she doesn’t believe anything Christie does is coincidental.
“I think that there’s always a relationship between what he does and with whom he speaks and interacts,” she said.
Christie will be co-hosting on NBC’s TODAY Show May 24 during the 8 a.m. hour from the Jersey Shore. Getting in the national spotlight could be seen as an advantage for the governor’s campaign, but Watson Coleman isn’t worried.
“New Jersey has working families and middle class families. It has women. It has children. It has educational issues. All of which have not been appropriately supported by this governor,” she said.
While Watson Coleman admitted that Christie has become a bit of a celebrity with the public finding him humorous on different television shows, she said that’s not what will drive them at the polls.
“At the end of the day, the people of New Jersey are gonna be reminded of where they are today versus where they were 3.5 years ago. And are they better off? And the answer to that question on any level — whether or not it’s the higher property taxes, the unemployment rate, the types of jobs that are being generated … whatever that issue is, you’re gonna be able to honestly say, ‘No I’m not better off. I can’t figure out what’s been happening on my behalf. But I am real sure about what’s been happening on the part of those who represent the wealthiest and the most endowed in our state,'” Watson Coleman said. “And that plus the fact that there are 700,000 more Democrats registered in the state of New Jersey will take Barbara Buono to the finish line as the next governor of the state of New Jersey.”