Buono: Not enough being done to put New Jerseyans back to work

TRENTON – Sen. Barbara Buono says she sees eye to eye with Gov. Chris Christie when it comes to some aspects of the recovery effort from Superstorm Sandy, however she differs greatly on how she would lead the state.

The only major Democratic candidate so far officially set to challenge Christie in the upcoming election says enough is not being done by the governor to get New Jerseyans back to work.

“He’s in denial about the job situation here,” Buono said. “New Jersey was in crisis before Sandy hit.”

Speaking to reporters following the governor’s State of the State address, Buono said she agreed with the governor when he said now is not the time for partisanship when it comes to the Sandy recovery effort.

However, she disagreed on what should be done and criticized the governor for not focusing on the state’s top priority – jobs.

“There’s a forgotten middle class and the poor that this governor seems to turn a blind eye toward,” she said.

Speaking about her gubernatorial campaign, Buono told reporters she expects other Democrats weighing a governor’s run will make a decision sooner than later on whether to enter the race.

“I think you’re going to see some movement soon,” she said, without offering additional insight.

“We’re off to a strong start,” she said, speaking about her campaign and explaining she is not worried about what others in the party may or may not decide to do.

“The Democratic Party does best when they offer a clear contrast,” she said, although she added that she “went into this thinking there would [be a Democratic primary].”

Despite the uncertainty, Buono said she’s extremely proud of the endorsements her campaign already has racked up and of the quarter of a million dollars her campaign raised in about 11 days.

As for the rest of the campaign, Buono says she has been on the road working hard and looks forward to campaigning in the coming months.

And she may not be alone.

Buono said that when Christie shook her hand before taking to the podium for his State of the State he commented, “See you on the road,” she said.

“I loved it,” Buono laughed.

"The governor still has to come to bat."
—Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, on Atlantic City.