POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Christie Has Confidence in Kwon, Clarifies Gay Marriage Comments

Gov. Chris Christie held a lengthy press conference Monday where he nominated Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff to succeed Glenn K. Rieth to lead the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Ken Kobylowski to succeed Tom Considine as commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance. After the announcement, Christie took questions from the media for more than an hour to discuss issues including his comments about gay marriage and a recent revelation about his pick for an associate justice for the state Supreme Court. NJToday’s Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron files this report from Trenton.

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Christie said he was made aware during the vetting process that Philip Kwon’s parents had paid a civil judgement after an investigation into their businesses finances. Christie nominated Kwon as one of two associate justices to the state Supreme Court last week. He said the case doesn’t involve Kwon and that he has “complete confidence in Phil and his integrity.”

Members of the media asked Christie to discuss his comments about same sex marriage where he compared it to the civil rights movement. To clarify, Christie said his comments came after supporters of gay marriage made the comparison and they had said the public supports the measure. Christie has publicly said he wants to put a referendum on the ballot and that civil rights leaders of decades past would have liked to have that option. He called the reaction to his comments “ridiculous and political,” citing the work he’s done for urban issues in the state.