Montclair State University’s campus is full of many different communities. One is the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry Community.
The Newman Catholic community has been around for over 50 years. It is composed of Montclair State students of the Catholic faith. These students all have different majors and come from different backgrounds.
A few members of the Newman Catholic community recently spoke about their thoughts and feelings with regard to the upcoming election for the next Governor of New Jersey. They also shared their feelings on certain issues that they feel are important to them such as property taxes and abortion.
The top candidates in the election for New Jersey Governor include Democrat Phil Murphy, who is a former United States ambassador to Germany and Republican Kim Guadagno, who is currently the Lieutenant Governor. Both hope to become the first new governor in New Jersey in eight years, taking over from current governor, Chris Christie.
Sean Grealy, the campus minister of Newman Catholic was quick to share his thoughts on Christie’s time in office.
“I thought he had a promising start, but scandals within the state and on the national stage affected his reputation,” said Grealy.
Grealy hopes that the next governor, whoever it may be, will take a hard look at tax reform. He says that people are leaving New Jersey at record rates due to high taxes.
“Gas taxes just got raised, so it’s another reason why the state is so expensive to live in,” said Grealy.
Grealy noted that the issue of abortion must be addressed. He thinks that the next governor should support legislation like intake reform which gives mothers other options besides abortion.
Matt Lozzi, a junior psychology major, has a neutral opinion when it comes to summing up Christie’s time in office.
“I didn’t know much about him to feel that he is good or bad,” said Lozzi.
Lozzi, who is a Republican, hasn’t been paying attention to the governor’s race much, but he is hoping for a great four to eight years regardless of who is elected.
Lozzi discussed the issue of abortion, a topic that is dear to him and the entire Newman Catholic community. He notes that the Church is pro-life and that all life is sacred. Lozzi hopes that the next governor does something when it comes to abortion, but is not sure where either candidate stands on the issue.
“I would like for our next governor to be pro-life, but there’s a chance it may not happen,” said Lozzi.
Along with dealing with issues of abortion, Lozzi also would like to see the next governor maintain stable job growth.
Kate Braunstein, a junior communication and media arts major, praised Christie for some of the policies created during his time in office.
Braunstein, a Republican, is very indecisive about the upcoming election, saying that there are issues on both sides. Braunstein also feels that abortion is an issue that the next governor must tackle.
“I want our next governor to put something in place to stand more for life,” said Braunstein.
Braunstein would like to see lower taxes and hopes the state becomes more affordable after she graduates college.
Braunstein seems to be leaning towards voting for Republican Kim Guadagno, but she didn’t confirm who she was voting for.
“I just hope no matter who wins, they do a good job because there is a lot of work to be done,” said Braustein.
This story is part of the Voting Block series and was produced in collaboration with The Record, NJ Spotlight, WHYY, WNYC, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, the Center for Cooperative Media and New America Media. To read all the stories in this series, visit VotingBlockNJ.com.