1993 New Jersey gubernatorial election

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New Jersey gubernatorial election, 1993

← 1989 November 2, 1993 1997 →
  WhitmanChristineTodd.jpg Jamesflorio (cropped).jpg
Nominee Christine Todd Whitman James Florio
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,236,124 1,210,031
Percentage 49.3% 48.3%

1993 NJ GovElect Result.svg
County results key:
  Whitman 60–70%
  Whitman 50–60%
  Whitman <50%
  Florio <50%
  Florio 50–60%
  Florio 60–70%

Governor before election

James Florio

Elected Governor

Christine Todd Whitman

The New Jersey gubernatorial election of 1993 was a race for Governor of New Jersey held on November 2, 1993. Incumbent Democratic governor James Florio was narrowly defeated by Republican Christine Todd Whitman following backlash from voters regarding tax increases that had occurred during Florio's tenure.

Primary elections

Primary elections for the Democratic and Republican parties were held on Tuesday June 8, 1993.

Democratic primary

Florio was unopposed in the June primary election. Former Howell Township postal worker, John Budzash, originally filed to run against Florio in the primary. Budzash, who switched his party registration from Republican to Democratic one day before the filing deadline, led Hands Across New Jersey, a citizens group that protested the state tax increases.[1] He was removed following a complaint from then-state party chair Raymond Lesniak alleging that many of his petition signatures were invalid.[2]


Democratic primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Florio (inc.) 200,420 100.00
Total votes 200,420 100.00

Republican primary



Republican Party primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Christine Todd Whitman 159,765 39.96
Republican W. Cary Edwards 131,578 32.91
Republican James Wallwork 96,034 24.02
Republican Charles P. Hoffman 6,695 1.67
Republican J. Patrick Gilligan 5,753 1.44
Total votes 399,825 100.00

General election


Major party candidates

  • James Florio, Democratic, incumbent Governor of New Jersey
  • Christine Todd Whitman, Republican, former Somerset County Freeholder, Board of Public Utilities president

Other independent candidates[5]

  • Alene S. Ammond, Hands-On Government, public-relations/advertising executive, former State Senator
  • Marilyn Arons, Maximum Citizen Involvement, Public advocate for disabled children
  • Tom Blomquist, Conservative, head of the New Jersey Conservative Party
  • Pat Daly, Abortion is Murder,
  • Pete DiLauro, Common Sense Government, retired New York City Police Department officer
  • Tim Feeney, Independent Choice, dentist
  • Tom Fuscaldo, Zero Sales Tax, former factory maintenance worker
  • Jerry T. Grant, You and I, car salesman
  • Kenneth R. Kaplan, Libertarian, industrial/commercial real estate broker
  • John L. Kucek, Populist, certified public accountant
  • Andrea Lippi, People Purpose Progress, poet
  • Richary J. Lynch, Independents 4 Change, Camden businessman
  • Joseph Marion, independent, trade association manager
  • Mark J. Rahn, Socialist Workers, warehouse worker
  • Michael R. Scully, Fresh Start, attorney
  • Andrew J. Zemel, Integrity-Common Sense, quality control consultant
  • Michael "Mike" Ziruolo, Better Affordable Government, trucking consultant


Florio had become unpopular following a 1990 $2.8-billion tax increase though he promised not to raise taxes in his successful 1989 campaign.[6] As a result of the tax increase, Republicans were swept into both houses of the Legislature in 1991. A 1990 bill that was signed into law banning assault weapons was used against Florio in advertisements by the National Rifle Association.[6] A proposal by Whitman to cut income taxes by 30% over three years were met with skepticism from voters.[7]

Polling for the election mostly showed that Florio would be reelected. Polls conducted within a few weeks of the election by The Star-Ledger, The New York Times, the Record of Hackensack, and Rutgers-Eagleton showed Florio besting Whitman by at least eight points.[7] The closest poll near the election was conducted by the Asbury Park Press showing a 38-38 tie with 22% undecided.[8] Undecided and independents tended towards Whitman at the time of the election.[7]


New Jersey Gubernatorial Election, 1993[9][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Christine Todd Whitman 1,236,124 49.33%
Democratic James Florio (inc.) 1,210,031 48.29%
Independent Pat Daly 10,071 0.40%
Libertarian Kenneth R. Kaplan 7,935 0.32%
Conservative Tom Blomquist 5,164 0.21%
Independent Joseph Marion 4,311 0.17%
Independent Richary J. Lynch 4,030 0.16%
Independent Alene S. Ammond 3,330 0.13%
Independent Tim Feeney 3,306 0.13%
Independent Michael R. Scully 3,209 0.13%
Independent Pete DiLauro 3,009 0.12%
Independent Marilyn Arons 2,884 0.12%
Populist ('84-'96) John L. Kucek 2,822 0.11%
Independent Tom Fuscaldo 2,314 0.09%
Independent Michael Mike Ziruolo 2,127 0.08%
Independent Andrew J. Zemel 1,530 0.06%
Independent Andrea Lippi 1,294 0.05%
Socialist Workers Mark J. Rahn 1,242 0.05%
Independent Jerry T. Grant 1,231 0.05%
Plurality 26,093 1.04%
Turnout 2,505,964
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


  1. ^ Enda, Jodi (April 16, 1993). "Florio Gets An Opponent For Primary John L. Budzash Co-founded Hands Across New Jersey. He Had Just Registered As A Democrat". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  2. ^ Gray, Jerry (April 22, 1993). "Ruling Is Likely to Take Florio Rival Off Ballot". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Gubernatorial Primary Election Results for Election Held on June 8, 1993" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. 1993. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Enda, Jodi (June 8, 1993). "Judgment Day For Gop As Voters Pick An Opponent For Gov. Florio In Camden, There Is A Primary For Mayor And Council. Counties Are Picking Freeholder Nominees. And Every Senate And Assembly Seat Is Up For Grabs". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Preston, David Lee (October 29, 1993). "Now, For Someone Completely Different Hearing The Many Other Voices For Governor: Ammond To Ziruolo". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Brownstein, Ronald (November 1, 1993). "Voters Seem Dissatisfied, Uncertain on Election Eve : Campaigns: Gubernatorial, mayoral posts at stake. No sweeping winds of change gauged in off-year races". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Mondics, Chris (November 4, 1993). "N.J. Pollsters Regroup And Try To Figure Out What Went Wrong". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  8. ^ Jackson, Herb (November 3, 1993). "Whitman Rips Pollsters Who Failed To Predict Her Victory With AM-Elections RDP, BJT". Associated Press. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  9. ^ "Official List – Gubernatorial General Election Returns for Election Held November 2, 1993" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. 1993. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  10. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey (2004 ed.). p. 493. Retrieved June 12, 2015.

External links

  • U.S. Election Atlas
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