New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (above) speaks at Jon Runyan headquarters during the victory celebration last night as the Runyan family looks on.
Governor Christie (above) praises Jon Runyan on his GOP primary victory. Christie said "there is no place else that I would rather be tonight than right here with Jon Runyan and all of you.
Republican congressional candidate Jon Runyan speaks to a jubilant crowd at his headquarters in Mt. Laurel last night. Runyan's win in the primary was even covered nationally by Fox News and others.
It was a big night in nearby Mt. Laurel last night as former Eagles football great Jon Runyan triumphed in the primary election and won the right to carry the GOP banner against incumbent Congressman John Adler in the fall election.
Runyan is considered a rising star in the Republican galaxy and that certainly showed when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made the scene to congratulate Runyan, and as Christie put it "make sure that the right Jon becomes our congressman in November."
Christie was revved up for the November race as he told party loyalists crammed into the storefront Runyan headquarters: "You can rest tonight. You can enjoy this victory. You can celebrate. But I want you to get right back to work tomorrow because we've got a tough fight on our hands and we need a new congressman here in this district."
Christie said that his own election last November "proves that it can be done." And he added: "We can win but we need your help and your enthusiasm." The Governor extolled Runyan as the right kind of candidate that the GOP needs in the Garden State and Runyan himself wasted no time in charting his path toward victory.
"People keep asking me, "Runyan said "what experience do I have to serve in Congress?"
"Well," Runyan explained "It's true that I may not have a lot of experience in certain areas. I have no experience as a professional politician. I have no experience as a lifelong officeholder. And I have no experience raising taxes again and again and again at the state and local level."
That answer of course was a clear shot at Adler and Adler's record at a time when anti-incumbent fever is running high.
Runyan said the Congress should be composed of citizen legislators who are elected out of a sense of service and who don't make politics and being elected and re-elected to office their life's work.
"I'm doing this because I think we need a change and because I want to speak for and serve the people of this district," Runyan said.
Runyan was asked how football prepared him for the current race. "You may get hit but you've got to keep coming back. It can be a struggle at times. You have to face it and keep pressing forward," Runyan explained. "That's the way to win"
Both Runyan and Governor Christie acknowledged challenger Justin Murphy. For his part, Murphy never conceded defeat and never bothered to call Runyan to congratulate him on his victory.
All photos copyright 2010 by Dan Cirucci.