Election is a year away, yet 2017 N.J. governor’s race is on

Get ready, New Jersey, for more political sniping, increased jockeying on big issues and a jump in the millions of dollars pouring in to get politicians elected.

Election Day 2017 is more than a year away, yet the race for governor got started this month when Democratic businessman and former U.S. ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy became the first declared candidate.

His announcement comes as Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrat-led Legislature grapple with a financially struggling Atlantic City and a more than $600 million deficit in the current year’s budget.

Experts say the early kickoff means potential Democratic candidates are more likely to begin attacking one another, and especially Murphy, as they seek to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

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