HBCU students weigh in on New Jersey governor's race
New Jersey governor's race early polling had some HBCU students uneasy about results.
The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy has a double-digit lead on Republican challenger Jack Ciattarell. According to a Monmouth University poll, Murphy leads the race by 11 points among registered voters. The governor has 51 percent of support compared to his rival’s 39 percent.
Ashley Beachum, a Hillside, New Jersey resident who attends Howard University, said that she will be voting in person. Beachum said she isn’t ecstatic about the upcoming election. She believes Murphy will win.
Beachum said that the governor has continued to raise state taxes, making New Jersey the highest state in the country. When multiple families lost their jobs and loved ones due to COVID-19, Murphy forced nursing homes to admit positive COVID-19 patients, Beachum said.
She said that Murphy’s response when asked about the decision to admit the patients was shocking. The governor is under federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over the death of nursing home patients.
Beachum said the past couple of years of elections has made it hard for her to remain a Democratic voter.
“I don’t agree with Murphy or his agenda," said Beachum," and I am not thrilled about his Republican running mate Ciattarelli, who attended a 'Stop The Steal' rally in efforts to challenge the ruling of Joe Biden 2020 presidential election."
At Morgan State University, Kayla Gaddy Middleton of Dayton, New Jersey and a varsity volleyball player, said because of her busy student-athlete schedule, she hasn’t been paying attention to the election.
Meanwhile, Kendal Hoges of West Orange, New Jersey said she isn’t really into politics and doesn’t know if she will make it home in time to vote before Nov. 2.
“My schedule is pretty busy," she said, "but if I was home and in the loop I would vote.”
Murphy has pulled all the stops for his campaign, having President Biden and former President Obama speak on his behalf in order to win re-election. Ciattarelli is putting up a spirited fight in the mostly suburban state. A Democratic defeat of Murphy would add to the leverage against progressive policies nationwide.
Murphy is hopeful of re-election for a second term after enacting a progressive agenda that included tighter gun laws and higher taxes on the wealthy in his first years in office. The governor’s argument against Ciattarelli is that he is a supporter of Donald Trump. Murphy says if the Republican is elected he will undo years of progress of the state.
The Republican challenger has slammed Murphy’s flawed response to COVID-19 and tax policies that have affected New Jersey’s higher cost of living.
The writer is a student in the School of Global Journalism and Communication