Few in N.J. thinking about 2017 election and Christie successor

Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leaves the Capitol in Washington in this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

A new Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind poll shows there’s no clear choice for a candidate to succeed Chris Christie as governor in 2018.

Nearly three-quarters of the Republicans and more than half the Democrats surveyed aren’t sure who they’d like their party’s nominee to be for the election taking place in 2017.

State Sen. Dick Codey, who served as interim governor from November 2004 to January 2006, has the most support right now, favored by 27 percent of Democrats. Nine percent prefer Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno tops the Republican side with 12 percent support.

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Poll director Krista Jenkins said the lack of a solid front-runner is not a surprise.

“The reality is that most people, sadly, are not as attentive to local and state politics as they should be,” she said. “So despite any concerted effort on the part of a politician to get his or her name in front of the public, it is an uphill battle — especially if there’s not an election taking place.”

All the attention on Christie’s potential presidential run and the George Washington Bridge scandal is making it difficult for voters to focus on an election that’s three years away, Jenkins said.

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