Finally, a third party candidate is getting some serious consideration in the highly corrupt and dysfunctional Garden State.
Independent candidate for New Jersey governor Chris Daggett has picked up the endorsement of the Star-Ledger, the state's largest daily newspaper, in an editorial published Sunday. It cited the need for "radical change" in how state government operates, saying Daggett's election would repudiate the status quo and put "a highly qualified occupant" in the governor's office.
"(Our) decision is less a rejection of Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican Chris Christie than a repudiation of the parties they represent, both of which have forfeited any claim to the trust and confidence of the people of New Jersey," the editorial stated. "They share responsibility for the state's current plight."
The perennially corrupt Garden State can only get healthy by rejecting both Democrats and Republicans, the paper editorialized.
"The lamentable fact is that the two parties are, themselves, little more than narrow special interests," the endorsement said. "Their competition for short-term political and/or monetary gain has jeopardized the state’s long-term economic health and left it with a tarnished national reputation."
Daggett said he appreciated the support.
"I've spoken clearly and specifically about the problems we face, and I also laid out fairly specific solutions that I was hoping would resonate with people," he said Sunday afternoon. "There's a general feeling that politics as usual is not enough. People in New Jersey want to hear the truth and they want credible options and solutions, based on honest assessment."
The New York Times also profiled the candidate with the "wonkish, occasionally witty but mostly sober delivery" noting that the substance of his property tax credit plan has caught the imagination of some Jersey voters and filled the vacuum created frontrunner's mostly negative campaign ads. But the paper noted that the 59-year-old was more likely to play the role of spoiler than pull off an upset himself.
But Daggett doesn't want to hear talk about being a spoiler.
“It’s like the ’73 Mets,” he told the Times. “Ya gotta believe!”