NEW JERSEY (FOX5NY.COM) - After two terms in office, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie touted his tenure as a success. In his final state of the state address, Christie credited his administration for capping property taxes, pension fund reform, and balancing the state budget eight years in a row.
"I ran to be different. I ran to talk bluntly. I ran to shine lights on all of New Jersey's real problems," he told lawmakers in Trenton.
Christie said he is most proud of his administration's response to Superstorm Sandy and more recently the efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.
But in his final year, Christie also faced historically low approval ratings—a symptom of the so-called Bridgegate scandal, critics who felt he spent too much time out of state during his run for president, and fallout from the political optics of his family's weekend at the beach after he closed state parks because of a budget battle.
His vulnerabilities were a big reason that Democrat Phil Murphy won convincingly last November.
For his successor, Christie leaves with a warning: "If we revert to the policies of the past, it is a short road back to disaster."
"I leave you today grateful, happy and a better man than I was when I walked in here for the first time eight years ago," he said. "For that and so much more, I thank you."