Recently, Senator Barbara Buono made a campaign stop at the Democratic Committee of Irvington for a brunch with women voters. She laid out her plans that she would implement when and if she is elected as the next governor of the state of New Jersey.
But a major problem this team faces is that many voters don't know who is Barbara Buono. On countless occasions this author has heard, "Who is she?". Everyone throughout New Jersey and beyond know who is the standing governor, Chis Christie. But many don't know who is the woman that plans to oust him from office. So we took a closer look to educate the voters on just who is Barbara Buono.
According to research, Barbara A. Buono (born July 28, 1953) is an American politician. She has been serving in the New Jersey State Senate since 2002, where she represents the 18th Legislative District. She is a member of the Democratic Party.
Before entering the Senate, Buono served in the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature, the General Assembly, from 1994 to 2002, where she served as the Minority Parliamentarian from 1996-98. In the Assembly, Buono became the ranking Democrat on the Assembly Budget Committee. She was Democratic Conference Chair from 2004 to 2007. She served from 2010 to 2012 as the Majority Leader in the Senate, succeeding Stephen Sweeney.
Buono was born in Newark, New Jersey to a butcher and a public school teacher. Buono grew up in Nutley, New Jersey and attended the Nutley Public Schools, graduating from Nutley High School in 1971.
She put herself through college and law school and received a B.A. in 1975 from Montclair State College in Political Science and earned a J.D. in 1979 from the Rutgers School of Law–Camden. She currently resides in Metuchen, New Jersey. She is a mother of 6.
Senator Buono began her career as a criminal trial attorney for the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate and later entered private practice. Buono first ran for local office on November 3, 1992, serving on the Metuchen, New Jersey Borough Council from January 1, 1993 to December 1, 1994.
Buono ran against and beat incumbent Republican State Assemblywoman Joanna Gregory-Scocchi in 1994, who had been chosen by a Republican special convention in February 1994 to fill the vacant seat of Republican Assemblywoman Harriet Derman (who was chosen by Governor Christine Whitman to head the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs).
In the November 8, 1994, special election, early favorite Gregory-Scocchi was defeated by Buono, after disclosures that a temporary employment firm owned by Gregory-Scocchi had hired illegal immigrants, with Buono having received 27,229 votes (53.74%) and Gregory-Scocchi 23,436 votes (46.26%). Buono was sworn into office on December 1, 1994.
After serving seven years in the New Jersey General Assembly she was elected to the New Jersey Senate on November 6, 2001. Buono served in the Senate on the Budget and Appropriations Committee (as Chair), the Intergovernmental Relations Commission and the Joint Budget Oversight Committee.
She was the first woman to serve as Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. At the beginning of the 2010 session, Senator Buono became the first woman to be elected Majority Leader of the New Jersey State Senate. She held the position through the end of the 2011 session, when she was succeeded by Loretta Weinberg, after Buono declined to agree with Senate President Stephen Sweeney on the terms of a power-sharing deal.
Buono is the author of the New Jersey "Anti-Bullying Law", which requires school districts to implement anti-harassment and bullying prevention policies to make schools safer for vulnerable children. She was also the prime sponsor of consumer protection measures restricting telemarketing by creating the most stringent "Do Not Call" database legislation in the nation.
Senator Buono is also the prime sponsor of the law prohibiting the practice of predatory lending, in which lenders issue loans with hidden costs and excessive fees to homeowners, eroding their financial security and putting their homes at risk.
She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, and serves on the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, and the State Government, Wagering, Tourism, & Historic Preservation committee.
Buono voted for the legalization of marijuana 9 times. 3 bills related to the measure were signed into law by Democratic Governor Jon Corzine and 6 bills related to the measure were vetoed by Republican Governor Chris Christie.
On December 11, 2012, Buono announced her candidacy for Governor of New Jersey in the Democratic primary, with the winner to face Republican incumbent Chris Christie in the 2013 election. Buono gained considerable party support by late January.
In the primary election on June 4, 2013, she was chosen over one opponent to be the Democratic nominee for Governor of New Jersey in the 2013 election. Despite New Jersey being a historically Democratic state, her campaign has struggled to gain traction against the popular incumbent Republican Governor Chris Christie.
On July 29, Buono selected Milly Silva, executive vice president of 1199 SEIU, as her running mate for lieutenant governor.
As the next governor of New Jersey Buono plans to:
Creast jobs-don't kill them.
Ease the tax burden on working families by making millionaires pay their fair share.
Increase the minimum wage.
Protect women and children's health care.
Strengthen our public schools.
Toughen gun safety laws and make our neighborhoods safer.
Expand opportunity make a New Jersey college education affordable.
Hopefully, in the weeks leading up to the election, Buono and her team will turn around the fact that not many people know who she is. According to Buono, she beat Christie by 10% in August and is gaining momentum.