New Jersey: Christie Wins After Neck-and-Neck Race

November 3, 2009 5:13 p.m.

The Associated Press and MSNBC have called it for Republican Chris Christie in the New Jersey gubernatorial election.

With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Christie had 50 percent of the vote. His opponent, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, trailed with 44 percent.

As results trickled in tonight, Christie held the lead but the race was too close to call. But as the night wore on, signs that Christie would take it appeared. RNC chairman Michael Steele flew from Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell’s victory party to New Jersey. And bellwether counties started going to Christie.Christie, the former U.S. attorney, was able to overcome Corzine in a very Democratic state. Corzine’s low popularity was due, in part, to high property taxes.

Christie had a sizable lead over the summer, though recent polls showed the two practically tied, with no clear winner.

Christie was dogged by allegations of impropriety in the U.S. attorney’s office, after he gave a staffer a personal loan and allegedly used his title to get out of traffic violations — and hit a motorcyclist with his car when he drove the wrong way down a one-way street.

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