Residents React To Christie In Hillary Clinton's Chappaqua Hometown

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Andrea Meakem, right, grew up in Ridgewood, N.J., and has lived in Chappaqua for the last 13 years. She says Christie has handled the issue well and would vote for him over Clinton.
Andrea Meakem, right, grew up in Ridgewood, N.J., and has lived in Chappaqua for the last 13 years. She says Christie has handled the issue well and would vote for him over Clinton. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – New Jersey governor and potential presidential candidate Chris Christie has lost favor with some Chappaqua voters since emails and text messages connected his aides to a now-infamous traffic stunt.

The controversy is especially topical in Chappaqua, which is the adopted hometown of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Many are pointing to a possible showdown in the 2016 presidential race between Clinton and Christie. Neither has announced a decision yet.

Christie has denied any involvement in a political revenge scheme that shut several lanes in Fort Lee, N.J., leading to the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. On Thursday, Christie fired his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and severed ties with his top political aide, Bill Stepien.

According to published reports, Kelly sent an email Aug. 13, 2013 reading, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” She sent it to the director of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority, David Wildstein, who replied, “Got it.” He resigned in early December.

“I think that people’s trust has been affected somewhat,” said Dr. Chjan Lim, a 20-year Chappaqua resident and math professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Lim, a Democrat, said if he had to vote for a Republican, he would choose Christie based on his perception as a straight shooter and ability to work across the aisle. However, the former Tarrytown resident said he would prefer to see Hillary Clinton in the White House.

Conversely, Andrea Meakem, speaking as a New Jersey native, said she would vote for Christie before voting for Clinton. The 13-year Chappaqua resident said she grew up in Ridgewood, about 20 minutes from the George Washington Bridge.

While Meakem said the situation is unsettling, she thinks Christie recovered well.

“I thought he did a great job of addressing it,” she said. “I don’t think he turned off any voters that would have already voted for him.”

Similarly, Stacey Stambleck of Chappaqua and Kim Mirkin of Mount Kisco both said they don’t think this controversy would hurt Christie’s chances if he decides to run for president. However, both said they would vote for the hometown candidate, Clinton.

Sabin Streeter isn’t as forgiving, saying that if Christie is connected to the traffic stunt, that it proves he is a bully.

“I thought he was OK until this,” Streeter said, as he picked up his dry cleaning at Chappaqua Dry Cleaners.

ABC News reports that New Jersey Democrats in the state Legislature are expected to release nearly 5,000 more emails and text messages.

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Which puppet will you be voting for? Vote libertarian instead of these two talking heads.

Excellent comment Tortie Tude - great research and fortitude...

This "scandal" is very fishy. I googled the traffic problems on the GWB, and as far back as August 2, 2013 (well before the Christie associate email), there were widespread press reports concerning how GWB repairs needed to be made and that there would be 3 out of 4 lanes closed affecting Fort Lee - all with the consent and discussion of both the NJ and NY PA. There were also reports of "tests" of how the closures would affect traffic. See for example an AP report recycled by the Huffington Post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/george-washington-bridge-_0_n_3696602.htm

In fact, Cedrick Fulton, one of the PA heads is quoted in the press articles. He is cited as a recipient of one of the supposedly horrible "secret" emails.

It seems like Kelly's sending an email Aug. 13, 2013 reading, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” is only referring to the already planned and publicly reported upcoming further repairs and closures. It's almost as if she's saying that since the repairs and closures were going through, that now there would be the traffic problems they all knew would ensue and that the PA should brace for the anticipated snarls whereupon Wildstein said "Got it." - like I know it's coming and we're ready or whatever.

Regardless of where you grew up Andrea Meakem, it is refreshing to note that sanity has reared its head in some parts of New York [especially Chappaqua]. That is not to say that Christie will run, or be elected for POTUS, but let's keep in mind the many issues which Hillary Clinton, and her flesh-pedling husband Bill [the same Bill Clinton who was impeached; the same Bill Clinton who had sex with an intern in the "Oval" office [but,"I did not have sex with that woman"] and the same Bill Clinton who lied under oath], will be remembered by all of us, at least those whose minds work in cogent ways, that Mr. Clinton, even more than his wife, want to be back in the White House. I do not think that is going to happen; Hillary's star has faded and if she thinks we are going to forget her ranting before the House hearings on Benghazi when, flailing her arms said, "what difference does it make," in reference to the dead bodies of our Ambassador and three security personnel, well, she is mistaken. Ms. Clinton, it does make a difference. Ms. Clinton's hushed deportment, after her resignation as the Secretary of State, and her hope that our memories will somehow ebb, is a fantasy; and true to her character, or lack thereof, she will have had a better chance at naming Rumpelstiltskin, unlike the Princess in the tower, without Bill riding through the forest on his steed looking for that personality.