Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who leads his re-election challenger by 30 percentage points in polls, won the support of Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, one of the state’s most influential Democratic leaders.
Tuesday’s endorsement from DiVincenzo, who oversees the county that includes Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, comes a day after Christie won the backing of state Sen. and Union City Mayor Brian Stack, the first sitting legislator and sixth mayor to cross the aisle in support of the governor.
"I'm proud of the work we have accomplished together and I'm honored to call Gov. Christie a friend," Stack said in a news release issued by Christie's campaign. "There is no one better suited to continue that work for Union City, for this district, and for New Jersey altogether, which is why I am proudly endorsing him for re-election today."
Christie, 50, already has been endorsed by several lesser- known Democrats who have said backing the incumbent was their smartest move because he’s likely to win a second term.
The governor led Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono 59 percent to 29 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday. Sixty-five percent of respondents said he deserves another term, including 35 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of independent voters.
Christie has forged alliances across the state with prominent Democrats, including DiVincenzo on his pension overhaul, Newark Mayor Cory Booker on public education changes, and southern New Jersey party leader George Norcross on his plans to reshape the state university system.
The governor has appeared at DiVincenzo events in recent months, including his State of the County speech in February and the opening of a sea lion exhibit at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange in April.
The Democratic State Committee rallied around Buono, a 59- year-old lawyer from Metuchen, after more popular members of her party — Booker, former acting Gov. Richard Codey and Senate President Stephen Sweeney — all decided not to run.
Newsmax.com's Courtney Coren contributed to this report.
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