Newark bid for Amazon headquarters gains N.J. political muscle

U.S. Sen.  Cory Booker (from left), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka say the city would be an ideal location for Amazon’s second headquarters.  (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (from left), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka say the city would be an ideal location for Amazon’s second headquarters. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Gov. Chris Christie joined other Garden State leaders Monday to promote Newark in Amazon’s competition to determine where the internet retailer will build its second headquarters. New Jersey’s largest city represents the “heart and soul” of what Amazon is seeking, the governor said.

“Newark is a growing technology hub. They are a growing education hub for the state of New Jersey,” he said. “Unparalleled transportation options and unique cultural options in this city as well.”

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a former mayor of Newark, said Amazon would be smart to come to his city.

“We actually sit right on top of dark fiber that makes this a city that has the fastest internet on the planet Earth,” he said. “And if you were going to move in the gig-economy and the bit-economy, this is the place to be.”

All of the state’s legislative leaders and the major party candidates for governor support an Amazon headquarters incentive package that Christie said he expects will be passed in the lame-duck session.

“All of the economic incentives put together from the city and the state would realize $7 billion in potential credits against Amazon’s state and city taxes, and still it would be an economic benefit for the state,” said Christie. He said the state’s Economic Development Authority estimates that benefit at more than $9 billion.

Camden is also among the cities and regions across the country pursuing the Amazon headquarters. The deadline to submit bids is Thursday.

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