By Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono isn’t surprised by the latest poll showing she’s closing the gap on Chris Christie’s lead.
“Just being out there talking to people in the communities now that my lieutenant governor candidate is getting out there, it’s doubling our efforts, people are getting to know who we are, people are learning what my message is,” Buono said.
Buono’s message today was about gun reform, a hot button issue that could help her win over independent voters, a group crucial to winning any election in New Jersey. An FDU PublicMind Poll in May found 50 percent of New Jersey voters want Congress to pass tougher gun laws. Thirty-nine percent do not. At the site of a recent fatal shooting in Asbury Park, Buono took aim at Christie for rejecting three gun control bills.
“By rejecting these three common sense bills, he chose his political ambitions over keeping these streets safe and our families free of violence,” Buono said. “What the people want now overwhelmingly is common sense gun reform. They want to reduce gun violence in New Jersey and they don’t want anyone pandering to the NRA and to the right wing of the national Republican Party.”
Joining Buono to talk about gun control was the mother of a Seton Hall University student who was shot at an off-campus party in 2010.
“My daughter grew up in the Bronx. We heard gun shots. It took her coming to Jersey to get shot in the face. Her best friend got killed saving these kids’ lives. So the next time Gov. Christie I need to wait for one of these [ammunition rounds] to get a phone call at 2 o’clock in the morning?” asked Leslie Vanterpool.
Buono also took a stab at Christie’s latest slogan — strong leadership. She says high unemployment numbers in this state show that Christie has failed to show the kind of leadership necessary to bring back New Jersey’s economy.
“It’s because of this governor and this governor alone that we have the highest unemployment in the region. We had the highest unemployment in the region four years ago, and nothing has changed so we’re no better off,” Buono said.
Buono believes New Jersey residents will be better off if they choose a governor who puts the interest of the people above personal political aspirations.