New Jersey voters have spoken: Phil Murphy will replace Gov. Chris Christie in the upcoming term, the Associated Press reports.
Murphy, a 60-year-old wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive, has never held elected office before. He served as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Germany from 2009 to 2013.
The governor-to-be beat out five rivals in the primary and Kim Guadagno, the Republican candidate whose served as Christie’s lieutenant governor since 2009. Her ties to the governor, whose popularity has steadily fallen in recent years, were repeatedly brought up over the course of the election.
Guadagno trailed Murphy by 12 points in the most recent poll before the election.
Property taxes were a defining issue of the campaign. New Jersey's are the country's highest. Murphy plans to redirect some of that money to education spending.
He's promised to act as a check to President Donald Trump, fully fund the state’s pension system and rejoin a regional greenhouse gas alliance. Murphy also campaigned on plans to legalize and tax marijuana. He also intends to reinstate a millionaires tax.
Murphy was endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. He also received high profile backers -- Obama, former vice presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, and both Hillary and Bill Clinton stumped for him during the campaign.
Christie could not run for re-election because of term limits.