Christie asks residents to be patient for ‘return to normalcy’

EWING – Gov. Chris Christie is urging residents to remain patient as New Jersey moves out of a state of “suffering” and gradually works to return to a point of “normalcy.”

The governor outlined his biggest three concerns – restoring power, opening roads and ensuring clean water – the administration will be focusing on in the coming days following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

“The challenges that we face are bigger than we ever faced before,” Christie said.

“We’ve had a lot of suffering in the state,” he said. “We’re moving in the right direction (and) we have a lot of work to do.”

The governor held an evening news briefing Wednesday following another day of touring the devastation left in the wake of the superstorm. Christie traveled the Jersey Shore with President Barack Obama, who Christie praised for stepping up to the plate and being there to help the state recover, he said.

“I look forward to keep working with him over the next number of days and weeks,” said Christie, adding he thought the president’s visit was “vital” to ensuring no time is wasted in working toward recovery.

“The president and I are big boys and we’re in the business of politics,” responded Christie after being asked about working with the president in the shadow of the upcoming election.

“We spent most of our time talking about the problems and how to deal with them,” he said. “When it comes to getting things done I don’t care what party (the person is from.)”

Utility crews have made some progress in restoring power to some of the state’s residents, but Chrisite said more than 2.3 million customers are still in the dark.

The governor plans to visit Bergen County Thursday and tour storm-stricken areas such as Hoboken.

“We’re moving, as I said yesterday, from a sense that we had that we’re happy that people are alive … to now moving into a stage where we want to return … to normalcy.”

"I’m excited as hell about CD 5. We have encouraged Congressman [Steve] Israel to get involved in CD 5."
—Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie