Government

​New Brunswick Voters Prepare for What's Next​

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Shedrock Ofoegbu, after casting his ballot at the Lord Stirling Community School. Credits: Daniel J. Munoz'

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  -​On Tuesday, November 7, ​every seat in the State Legislature was up for grabs, and the eight​-​year reign of ​Gov. Chris Christie ​has reached its sunset.

For some, that means a sense of uncertainty; not knowing what the future will hold and not sure how much control they’ll have over it.

Others have looked at the elections with hope and purpose. For them, things are going in the right direction,​with hopes that honest, qualified people will be in charge to keep that momentum going.

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​And, for others in New Brunswick, Election ​D​ay has brought out a lot of apathy​.

Bill Hoffman has been living in New Brunswick for the past five years. He resides at the Plaza Square Apartments, located by Route 18, with his wife and daughter.

For Hoffman, a vote for Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno is the most of his political involvement at the local level. Hoffman voted down the ​GOP ​line, ​but only because he wanted to pick the party ​that does not control the state Legislature.

Murphy, with his promises to raise taxes, according to Hoffman, was a huge turnoff.

“It comes down to taxes, Murphy wants to put more taxes on everybody,​ Guadagno  wants to do less taxes,” Hoffman said. 

Yet other city residents, coming out of the​ir local​ polling place​s​, shared the sense that they really were part of something big.

Peter Schroeck has been living in New Brunswick for 30 years, ever since he was a Rutgers ​University undergrad in the mid-1980s. Schroeck said he’s satisfied with how the city’s been redeveloped.​

“Just look around here, everything is new,” Schroeck said.

He currently resides in Hiram Square, an area he described as a “slum” as recently as a decade ago.

“I remember going to the Frog and the Peach and I used to have to walk through this neighborhood, it was pretty chancy,” Schroeck said.

Schroeck said he voted Democrat for the state legislators and county freeholders, crediting current and former Democratic officials with making changes ​to the city possible.

Another longtime resident, who only provided his first name, Stephen, voted for Murphy, crediting the Democrat as far more understanding of city folk and the issues they face, than Guadagno.

“He’s from Boston, he’s from a middle-​class family,” Stephen said. “He’s one of six, seven, eight kids, typical Irish family up there."

Having lived in New Brunswick for roughly 40 years, Stephen had a positive attitude on the city’s redevelopment trend.

“It used to be very dangerous, this side of town, to walk,” Stephen said, referring to the neighborhood of the Lord Stirling Community School, where he voted.

“You could walk this at night,” Stephen added. “Before, you couldn’t even walk this area during the d​ay.”

​On the topic of local politics, Stephen commented, “It’s a machine.”

Another voter, local resident Shedrock Ofoegbu, said he hasn’t ​really ​followed county politics, but  ​believes it is important to protect the city’s immigrants. As such, he voted Democrat up and down the column.

“Guadagno will follow Trump,” Ofoegbu suggested.

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