Chris Christie Drops Out of Presidential Race; Scotch Plains-Fanwood Elected Leaders React

Governor Chris Christie campaigned in downtown Scotch Plains in August 2013. Credits: John Mooney
"The steady deterioration of our rail infrastructure is already causing delays; we must offer commuters a hope for improvement." -- Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr Credits: John Mooney
Llewellyn Jones said he appreciates that Chris Christie "isn't afraid to take a stand for what he believes in." Credits: John Mooney
Colleen Gialanella says, "Chris Christie has proven himself to be a horror of a human being." Credits: John Mooney

NEW JERSEY -- Less than 24 hours after finishing in a disappointing 6th in the New Hampshire primary, Governor Chris Christie announced that he will drop out of the Republican presidential race on Wednesday.

Christie had banked on doing well in New Hampshire and hoped a successful performance there would catapult him to the upper tier among the GOP candidates, which at one time had more than a dozen entrants. The governor ended up with only 8 percent of the votes in New Hampshire on Tuesday night. In the Iowa Caucuses, he won just 2 percent of the votes. He had no delegates.

On Wednesday, Christie tweeted:

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I ran for president with the message that the government needs to once again work for the people, not the people work for the government. And while running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed - that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation. That message was heard by and stood for by a lot of people, but just not enough, and that’s ok.

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, a Democrat, believes that it is time for the governor to focus on his job now that his flirtation with the Presidency is now over. 

"His (Christie's) glaring lack of leadership over the last two years on such issues as funding the transportation trust fund is starting to cripple the state economy and hinder job growth," Mahr said in an interview with TAPintoSPF. "Private businesses are looking elsewhere to go because of the uncertainty of the trust fund, the down grading of our State credit, and the lack of leadership."

Scotch Plains Councilman Llewellyn Jones, the lone Republican on the council, told TAPintoSPF: "While Chris Christie's style doesn't work for everyone, I appreciate that as an elected leader he isn't afraid to take a stand for what he believes in."

"Now that Gov. Christie is back in NJ, I would love to see him use his position to convince the legislature to re-enact RCAs (regional contribution agreements) for affordable housing. This is something that I believe would have bipartisan support. Without it, I'm afraid we will lose much more of what little open space we have left in Scotch Plains."

Jones added that the subject of COAH (council on affordable housing) is possibly the most significant issue facing Scotch Plains now, and yet one that gets very little public attention.

Scotch Plains Councilwoman Colleen Gialanella had a much harsher assessment of Governor Christie than her Republican counterpart.

"Chris Christie has proven himself to be a horror of a human being. His treatment of those who disagree with him has been captured on video time and time again," Gialanella told TAPintoSPF. "He's an absentee landlord who used the residents of this State to further his own political career, which is why I was so disappointed when the Mayor gave a very public endorsement of Christie's second run for Governor.

"Chris Christie has been on the wrong side of so many issues putting pandering to the far right ahead of the needs of the State," Gialanella continued. "Listening to him misrepresent himself on the national stage has been nothing short of painful for those who have followed his failures here in New Jersey."

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