Christie’s re-election increases 2016 speculation

ASBURY PARK, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie was re-elected with ease Tuesday, demonstrating the kind of broad, bipartisan appeal that will serve as his opening argument should he seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Christie had 60 percent of the vote to Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono’s 39 percent.

He was expected to become the first Republican in a quarter-century to receive more than 50 percent of the New Jersey vote. This, in a state that President Obama carried a year ago by more than 17 points, his biggest margin in the nation. Buono told supporters in her hometown of Metuchen shortly after polls closed that she had called Christie to congratulate him. She noted they had their differences but added, “when it comes down to it, we’re just two parents who want to see the best for our children’s future.”

Christie performed strongly across the political spectrum.

De Blasio wins as an unabashed NYC liberal

NEW YORK — Bill de Blasio was elected New York City’s first Democratic mayor in two decades Tuesday, running on an unabashedly liberal, tax-the-rich platform that contrasted sharply with billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s record during 12 years in office.

De Blasio, the city’s public advocate, defeated Republican Joe Lhota, former chief of the metropolitan area’s transit agency.

De Blasio, 52, will take office on Jan. 1 as the 109th mayor of the nation’s largest city. He had been heavily favored, holding an overwhelming lead in the polls for weeks.

Bloomberg, who first ran as a Republican and later became an independent, guided the city through the financial meltdown and the aftermath of 9/11. He is leaving office after three terms.

De Blasio ran as the anti-Bloomberg, railing against economic inequality and portraying New York as a “tale of two cities” – one rich, the other working class – under the pro-business, pro-development mayor, who made his fortune from the financial information company that bears his name.

De Blasio reached out to New Yorkers he contended were left behind by the often Manhattan-centric Bloomberg administration, and he called for a tax increase on the wealthy to pay for universal pre-kindergarten.

Marijuana tax OK’d to fund Colorado school construction

COLORADO — Voters approved a 25 percent tax on newly legal recreational marijuana to fund school construction. Opponents argued the tax would benefit the black market.

Houston Astrodome faces demolition, not new use

Voters rejected a plan to authorize bonds to turn the Houston Astrodome, the world’s first multipurpose domed stadium, into a convention center and exhibition space.

The outcome means the famous stadium is likely to be torn down.

– From news service reports