ATLANTIC CITY – State Sen. Barbara Buono, (D-18), is hoping to galvanize New Jersey women to get out the vote this November.
Speaking at a “Step up Women’s” luncheon Friday at the New Jersey State Committee’s conference, the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee blasted Gov. Chris Christie on his record with New Jersey’s women.
She hammered the Republican governor on cutting millions in funding for women’s health centers and vetoing a bill that would close the gender wage gap, telling the galvanized crowd of Democrats that New Jersey cannot have a governor who will “leave our women behind.”
“This November, women across New Jersey will have a message for Chris Christie,” Buono said.
“New Jersey’s women don’t need a governor who’s more concerned about conservatives in the cornfields of Iowa than he is about us,” she said. “The women of New Jersey need a leader, someone with a record of speaking out for them. Our women need someone who will stand with them, not stand in their way.”
The speech comes as Buono trails in polls even among women.
A poll released earlier this month indicated a majority of women – 56 percent – support Christie compared with 32 percent for Buono, according to a Marist University/NBC poll.
Despite the lag among female voters, luncheon speakers told a room of hundreds that come the time for the next Super Bowl, which is being hosted in the state, “every guy in this room is going to have to call” Buono to get a ticket, joked Sen. Loretta Weinberg, (D-37).
Prior to Buono’s keynote address, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34) drummed up support for Christie’s likely challenger by slamming the incumbent governor for turning his back on middle-class families in New Jersey.
“The quality of life for working-class families in this state is deteriorating year after year and we have suffered a lot in the past three and a half years. We have suffered a lot,” Oliver said. “We lost ground for our working-class families on every level.”
Oliver attacked Christie on his opposition to Democratic lawmakers’ plan to raise the state’s minimum wage, and urged women to stand up in support for Buono.
“There is absolutely no reason in the world that our state, the state of New Jersey, where women represent the highest percentage of those that come to the polls to vote, there is no reason why the women of this state cannot elect Barbara Buono as the Democratic governor of New Jersey,” she said. “No reason whatsoever.”