It's gubernatorial election day in New Jersey; we are one of just two states holding statewide elections this year (Virginia is the other one) and it's a race that has attracted national interest. The only reason that I can spell gubernatorial is because it was a spelling word for the 4th grade. And 4th graders needed to know how to spell that word because they have been studying the election. So it was that my son has come home this fall regularly expressing his opinions and asking questions. God save me if I hadn't known about the public question or our representatives to the state legislature. I was proud of my boy's interest in the race and I took his questions and ideas seriously. And though I say it myself, I was impressed by his level of engagement in the races.
At school the 4th graders organized an election for the whole of the Lower School. In that election, JT cast his ballot for governor. He voted for Jon Corzine, the Democratic candidate. This morning, it was my turn. Four years ago, I voted for Corzine's first bid to be governor of the state. This year, he's seeking another term and facing off against Republican Chris Christie and Independent Chris Daggett. JT and I watched the debates and we've talked about the issues.
There are a host of problems in New Jersey, but it all boils down to one problem: local control. Towns and municipalities abound in New Jersey and they all seek their pound of flesh. We need to break the back of local control, a task the established parties have failed to accomplish. So, good Democrat though I am, I was interested in casting a ballot for the Independent. That's always a risky strategy, of course, because in our two-party system I could be voting for a spoiler. And I am concerned about that as I have neither faith in nor enthusiasm for the Republican candidate. I wanted Daggett but I could live with another term for Corzine, who had one hell of a task before him when he first took office, a reality nicely illustrated by this New York Times article by Matt Bai.
This morning, before we set off to vote, JT and I took a final look at the polls. Christie has a slight lead. Daggett is a distant third. Jon Corzine will need a last minute surge of support if he is to win today. So JT and I talked it through and then we made our decision: at the ballot box this morning, we voted for Jon Corzine.