BRIDGEWATER – Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno and her allies from the Central Jersey suburbs today slapped away at her rival, Democrat Phil Murphy, on the subject of potential toll road additions to interstate highways.
“We greatly welcome these insights to help chart a future course that creates and support countless jobs, spurs long-term economic growth, provides much-needed relief for commuters, and gives our economy the transportation infrastructure it needs,” the Murphy Campaign said in response to a report commissioned by The Fund for New Jersey and released by former governor Gov. James Florio.
That prompted Guadagno – a day before her first scheduled debate with Murphy – to go to a podium at the municipal building here, supported by area Republican politicians, among them state Senators Kip Bateman and Mike Doherty.
“Taxes are too high already and he’s already promised to raise $1.3 billion in new revenues,” griped Doherty. “Embracing this Florio plan is Cozine 2.o. They want to put up new tolls throughout the state, and I just think this is a wonderful issue for Guadagno to motivate her base. The idea that people in the suburbs will have a more difficult and more costly commute is just unacceptable.
“First it’s a gas tax increase, and now new toll roads,” the senator added. “It’s the difference between Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno. Guadagno’s base is more of a suburban base that has to drive the roads. It’s really a war on the suburbs. We’re going to be the new cash cow for Phil Murphy.”
Murphy Spokesman Derek Roseman issued a statement in response to Guadagno’s press conference.
“It is under Chris Christie’s and Kim Guadagno’s watch that highway tolls increased by half, commuter fares are up by 37 percent, and bridge and tunnel tolls have nearly doubled,” Roseman said. “The facts are clear — commuters paid more and got worse service. Phil Murphy has been crystal clear that the middle class has shouldered enough and that he will not ask them to pay more. After spending eight years standing by Chris Christie’s side while they made New Jersey worse for people across the state, Kim Guadagno is now just outright lying to them.”