TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican Chris Christie has been sworn in as New Jersey’s 55th governor.
The former federal prosecutor recited the oath with his wife and children at his side in Trenton’s War Memorial Tuesday.
A National Guard artillery battery fired a 19-gun salute.
Kim Guadagno (GWAH’-dah-noh) was then sworn in as the state’s first lieutenant governor. The position is a new one in New Jersey.
Christie is expected to stress change in his inaugural address.
Christie largely used taxes and the economy to defeat Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in November. The state’s former U.S. attorney was outspent and Corzine relied on campaign appearances by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Republican Chris Christie was being sworn in Tuesday as New Jersey’s 55th governor, taking over a state plagued by the nation’s highest taxes, a deficit that could hit $10 billion by July and unemployment near 10 percent.
Christie’s swearing in also marks another reminder of President Barack Obama’s vulnerability on the same day another Northeastern election could derail parts of his agenda.
On Tuesday, Democrats nervously watched the Senate contest in Massachusetts where Republican Scott Brown threatened to take the seat held by the late Edward Kennedy. Obama campaigned for Democrat Martha Coakley and a loss would break the Democrats’ filibuster-proof 60 vote majority in the Senate.
Obama had campaigned for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine in the fall, but it wasn’t enough for him to beat Christie. The loss was the first blow to Obama, followed by a Republican in Virginia winning the only other governor’s race in November.
Christie, a 47-year-old former federal prosecutor, ran on a platform of smaller government and took shots at Corzine, a former Wall Street executive, for what he called poor economic stewardship. But Christie was criticized during the campaign for remaining vague about how he would solve New Jersey’s chronic fiscal problems.
Christie becomes the first Republican to hold the governor’s office in eight years. He was taking his oath of office along with Kim Guadagno, who will become lieutenant governor. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner was to administer the oath at noon at Trenton’s War Memorial.
Christie is taking charge of a government dominated by Democrats waiting to see exactly how he will balance the budget without breaking his campaign pledge to not raise taxes and to roll back several of them. New Jersey homeowners pay the nation’s highest taxes, an average of $7,045 a year.
At a Mass Tuesday morning at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, Archbishop John Myers said Christie will need the wisdom of Solomon once he’s sworn in.
Donald Trump also attended the Mass in Newark, Christie’s birthplace.
“He’s going to be a great governor, which New Jersey could use. He will go down as the best governor there is,” Trump said, adding that the two had been friends for a long time.
After the swearing in, Christie and Guadagno were heading to the governor’s mansion in Princeton for a private lunch. An evening cocktail reception at the Prudential Center in Newark was planned.