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Michael Symons

I'm the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5, covering the governor, Legislature and state politics, and had previously covered the Statehouse for Gannett newspapers for more than 15 years. I'm a lifelong New Jerseyan -- raised in Bergen, living in Hunterdon, Rutgers graduate. I'm co-author of the 2012 biography 'Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power.' I am not the Iron Chef with a similar name though sometimes get tweets meant for him, especially around Thanksgiving. Believe me, you don't want my cooking tips.
Drumthwacket, New Jersey's governor's mansion, lit in purple (Governor's Office)
Drumthwacket, New Jersey's governor's mansion, lit in purple (Governor's Office)
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Don’t like Murphy or Guadagno? Here are 5 other options to vote for

Not happy with the choice between Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy? There are options – though it's been a century since a third candidate got over 6% in NJ.

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State Sen. Jennifer Beck
State Sen. Jennifer Back calls on the Board of Public Utilities to investigate Jersey Central Power & Light (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)
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Special interest groups are spending millions on Shore, South Jersey races

Spending by independent special interest groups is now approaching $20 million, nearly as much as what the candidates themselves have spent.

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HoldingHolding political campaign buttons (ThinkStock)
ThinkStock
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NJ will elect 120 lawmakers in November — These are the 8 races to watch

There are only a handful of competitive races for Senate and Assembly, and Democrats will control the Legislature. One race is already NJ's priciest ever.

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An image from Andrew Appel's presentation on voting security. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
An image from Andrew Appel's presentation on voting security. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
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New Jersey’s voting machines: They’re old — but hackable?

A Princeton prof says he can break into voting machines to steal elections in minutes. Election officials say it's much harder than he portrays.

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Jon Whiten of NJ Policy Perspective, Erica Jedynak of Americans for Prosperity, Thurston Powers of the American Legislative Exchange Council and Assemblyman John Wisniewski criticize plans to offer Amazon $7 billion in state and local tax credits if it builds a headquarters in Newark. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
Jon Whiten of NJ Policy Perspective, Erica Jedynak of Americans for Prosperity, Thurston Powers of the American Legislative Exchange Council and Assemblyman John Wisniewski criticize plans to offer Amazon $7 billion in state and local tax credits if it builds a headquarters in Newark. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
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Right and left ally to bash idea of $7B in tax breaks for Amazon

The state is offering Amazon $5 billion in tax breaks, with Newark adding $2 billion more. Strange bedfellows are teaming to try to sink the idea.

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Books on the shelf at the Hunterdon County Library (Lisa Symons/Special to Townsquare Media NJ)
Books on the shelf at the Hunterdon County Library (Lisa Symons/Special to Townsquare Media NJ)
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NJ ballot questions this November will decide how money is spent

Question No. 1 asks if New Jersey should borrow $125 million to help fund library projects. Question No. 2 would ensure environmental funds aren't diverted.

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Cecilia Zalkind (left) and Deborah Poritz discuss the Fund for New Jersey education report. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
Cecilia Zalkind (left) and Deborah Poritz discuss the Fund for New Jersey education report. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
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Group urges NJ to find $1B and fully fund school-aid formula — now!

'Crossroads NJ' education report says the state needs to recommit to its long-abandoned school-aid formula, including an expansion of preschool.

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