Jennifer Beck (R-11) is one of 2017’s most endangered incumbents, having lost both of her Assembly running mates two years ago and facing what will most certainly be an onslaught of Super PAC cash this November.
Needless to say, she didn’t take Governor Chris Christie‘s shocking call for vengeance against anti-gas tax hike members of his own party sitting down.
“I will always stand up for what is right by my constituents, even in the face of pressure from the Governor and special interests. I have vocally opposed increases in the gas tax since my election to the Legislature in 2005,” said Beck in a statement obtained by Save Jersey. “Residents in my district continue to be overtaxed and opposed to the billion-dollar gas tax scheme. Governor Christie ran for Governor on a platform of opposing new taxes and fees with the overwhelming support of Monmouth and Ocean counties. Our residents commute and bear the burden of this tax increase. I will continue to be a forceful advocate to decrease our tax burden here in the state. The bottom-line is the billion-dollar gas tax was not needed and no pressure from the Governor or special interests will make me waver in my position.”
POLITICO New Jersey reported on Thursday night that Christie vocally encouraged union members gathered at a rally (in his honor) to punish Republican and Democrat legislators who opposed the gas tax deal. Some of his party’s most vulnerable incumbents, including Beck, opposed the massive gas tax increase along with a majority of the Republican legislative caucus.
There’s no love lost between the Morris governor and Monmouth legislator; recently, Beck co-sponsored legislation which would’ve assigned a special prosecutor to proceed on a Bridgegate-related criminal complaint filed against Christie.
Beck’s presumptive fall challenger is Vin Gopal, outgoing chairman of the Monmouth Democrat Party.
FLASHBACK: The Gas Tax Scam, By The Numbers….