EDISON - Republican incumbent Chris Christie and Democrat Barbara Buono have scored easy primary victories in the race to be governor of New Jersey, setting up a campaign focused on whether Christie and his policies have turned around the state.
Buono, a state senator, points to high unemployment and property taxes as signs that the state's economy has not improved for everyone since Christie took office in 2010.
Christie says government is smaller and that residents feel better about their state. He says that shows that he made good on his call four years ago to "turn Trenton upside down."
State Sen. Joe Kyrillos beat tea party-backed opponent Leigh-Ann Bellew in Tuesday's primary, securing the Republican nomination in his re-election bid in Monmouth County's 13th District.
Longtime senator Nia Gill beat back a challenge by Mark Alexander in the 34th District. The Democrat-dominated area includes Montclair, Orange and East Orange.
Overall, six senators and 11 members of the Assembly faced primary challenges. But the race between Gill and Alexander was one of the few that were expected to be competitive.
Another was in the 20th District in Elizabeth, where Raymond Lesniak easily beat back the challenge of Donna Obe, the president of the city's powerful school board. Obe had portrayed Lesniak, a lawmaker since 1978, as wealthy and out of touch with the district.
The mayor of Atlantic City won a primary election against two fellow Democrats. Mayor Lorenzo Langford defeated county Freeholder Charles Garrett and former police union president David Davidson Jr.
The general election will be held on Nov. 5.