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Former Gov. Jim Florio. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Florio: Murphy not to blame for LD1 loss

Result not an ‘overwhelming victory’ for anyone, former governor says

By Nikita Biryukov, November 19 2019 11:18 pm

Former Gov. Jim Florio isn’t buying the line that Gov. Phil Murphy is to blame for Democrats’ legislative losses this year.

“No, I think these individual races, at the end of the road, are not attributed to anybody,” Florio said.

Democrats lost the Senate seat and both Assembly seats in the first legislative district, a red-leaning district that Democrats held for years before Rep. Jeff Van Drew moved up to Congress.

In the wake of those losses and their failing to win any of the competitive races in Republican-held districts, some Democrats have blamed their lack of success on Murphy going up on the air in the election’s closing week.

Separately, they have pointed to the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump energizing Republican voters in swing districts.

Despite the Republican wins, Democrats still hold all three branches of the state government, though they’ve lost their supermajority in the Assembly.

To Florio, the loss isn’t a massive one.

“When the Republican party can brag about winning Cape May, which they never should have lost in the first place, I’m not sure anyone can say it’s an overwhelming victory for anything,” he said.

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