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Snowstorm forces cancellation of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's inauguration party

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 21 2014 09:18:29 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 21 2014 11:04:30 AM CST
Chris Christie state of the union
TRENTON, N.J. -

Weather is taking a toll on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's second inauguration.

Organizers have canceled the party that was scheduled for Tuesday night on Ellis Island. There's fear heavy snow would pose a travel hazard.

Catered food for the event will be donated to food pantries in the Jersey City area.

Christie attended a prayer service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark on Tuesday morning. He then took the oath of office at the Trenton War Memorial a few minutes before noon.

In prepared remarks, Christie stressed the need for bipartisanship and diversity.

"We cannot fall victim to the attitude of Washington, D.C.," Christie said during his inaugural address. "The attitude that says I am always right and you are always wrong. The attitude that puts everyone into a box they are not permitted to leave. The attitude that puts political wins ahead of policy agreements. The belief that compromise is a dirty word."

Christie starts his second term with multiple investigations into traffic tie-ups that appear to have been ordered by his staff for political retribution and an allegation that his administration linked Superstorm Sandy aid to approval for a real estate project.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who was drawn into the Sandy aid controversy surrounding Christie last weekend, is also set to be sworn in for her second term.

Christie won re-election in November by a 22-point margin over N.J. Sen. Barbara Buono, a Democrat.

The Republican governor built a national following as a blunt-talking and often funny politician who aimed to show that he could find common ground with Democrats on some key issues, including overhauling the state's public-worker pension program and making it easier to fire teachers who are found to be under-performing.

Christie became a fixture in speculation about who would seek the 2016 presidential nomination with his leadership after Superstorm Sandy slammed into his state in October 2012.

He worked with President Barack Obama and took on Republican members of Congress who were reluctant to approve aid for storm victims, receiving high marks from his constituents and plentiful national attention.

But his reputation has been battered somewhat since revelations this month that a staffer ordered two of three approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge from the town of Fort Lee shut down for four days in September apparently as political retribution against the mayor there, perhaps for not endorsing Christie for re-election.

The U.S. attorney's office and two state legislative committees are now investigating.

Christie has apologized, denied any involvement with or knowledge of the plot and fired a deputy chief of staff at the center of the controversy, but questions have continued.

Christie's administration also faces an allegation from the Democratic mayor of Hoboken that it tied the delivery of Superstorm Sandy aid to the low-lying city of 50,000 across from Manhattan to support for a prime real estate project.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer said she was told by Guadagno that the ultimatum came directly from Christie. Guadagno strongly denied those claims Monday and described them as "false" and "illogical."

"Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false," she said.

Also on Monday, nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis said Christie dropped a plan to appoint him the state's first physical fitness ambassador when he launched a political campaign against a Christie friend. Christie's administration hasn't returned an email seeking comment.

In his re-election campaign, Christie did not make big new promises, but said he would continue to work on recovery from Sandy, seek tax cuts and push for other previous priorities with which the Democrat-controlled Legislature has not been willing to go along.

Christie has not ruled out a 2016 presidential run, but last week in an event with storm victims in Manahawkin, he emphasized his New Jersey roots and the task before him as governor.

"Come next Tuesday, I've only got about 1,400 days to go as governor. We've got plenty of time to get this job done," he said. "You asked me and I accepted the task of leading this state for eight years, not four years."