UD alumnus Chris Christie wins second term as governor of New Jersey
11:43 a.m., Nov. 6, 2013--University of Delaware alumnus Chris Christie won a second term as governor of New Jersey in balloting Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The Republican Christie, whose name has featured prominently in discussions about the 2016 presidential election, handily defeated Democrat Barbara Buono.
Rising to the challenge
Christie is a 1984 UD graduate and a Double Del, married to 1985 alumna Mary Pat Foster Christie. Both were active in student government, winning back-to-back class presidencies.
The Christies have remained very close to the University throughout the years, with Mary Pat having served on the UD Alumni Association Board of Directors and both returning often for Blue Hens football and campus events.
Chris Christie, who was appointed U.S. Attorney for the state of New Jersey in 2001, was first elected governor in 2009. He has gained a national reputation, and a platform, because he is both outspoken and direct.
Addressing a National Agenda audience on campus two years ago, Christie said he won the first gubernatorial election “not because of my charm and good looks” but because “they thought a tough, plainspoken federal prosecutor might have the guts to get things done.”
Also that evening, he shrugged off media commentators who at the time were comparing him to Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte, saying, “That’s leadership. You don’t wait in a crisis for other people to act. You act.”
Following the devastating landfall of Hurricane Sandy in his state last year, Christie acted decisively, drawing praise -- and also scorn from some fellow Republicans -- for working closely with Democratic President Barack Obama to get the Jersey Shore back on its feet.
Some political commentators thought Christie might jump in to the 2012 presidential race, but he told the National Agenda audience the work remaining in New Jersey outweighed his interest in a bid for the nation’s top office.
He said then that there was no way to predict what might happen in the 2016 campaign, adding that the media would “find me entertaining” as someone who wouldn’t give “blow dried answers.”
Christie received the University’s Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement in 2003, and has spoken at Winter Commencements in 2004 and again in 2011, when he was presented an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Christie, said Ralph Begleiter, Rosenberg Professor of Communication and director of the Center for Political Communication, is one of the reasons the University continues to be at the “epicenter of national politics,” a phrase coined by Bloomberg News during the 2008 presidential campaign when three alumni – Joe Biden, David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt – played important roles.
Biden, of course, became vice president while Plouffe played key roles in both the Obama campaign and White House and Schmidt directed the campaign of Republican John McCain.
Photos by Duane Perry