Republican Governors Association targets Barbara Buono

Barbara Buono's campaign for governor of New Jersey may be a serious long shot, but Republicans aren't taking Gov. Chris Christie's reelection for granted. A new ad from the Republican Governors Association attacks state Sen. Buono as "a Trenton politician" who "voted to raise taxes 154 times" and the "architect" of a Democratic budget that "drove New Jersey $2 billion into debt."

"Governor Christie and his national Republican sponsors' false attacks on Senator Buono's record are attempts to distract from the truth: they have made careers off defending millionaires over working and middle class families," said Buono spokesman David Turner in response to the ad. "Senator Buono has consistently fought to make millionaires pay their fair share to provide property tax relief to the New Jersey's middle class."

An April Quinnipiac poll gave Christie a wide lead over Buono, 58 percent to 26 percent. New Jersey voters approve of the job Christie is doing by a 67 percent to 24 percent margin, and 66 percent say he deserves reelection.

At that point, 78 percent of voters didn't know enough about Buono to form an opinion.

Christie also has a huge fundraising advantage and just Tuesday, was playing an arcade game with President Obama. (The White House noted that Buono also met Obama -- as part of a delegation of New Jersey officials.) Buono is so little-known that an ad like this might actually help her just by letting people know she's running for office.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Aaron Blake · May 29, 2013