This is the most powerful governor’s seat in the nation and signals big change for the state.

Chris Christie is out.

Democrat Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and Democratic Party operative, has won the New Jersey governor’s race, beating out Republican Kim Guadagno, who is currently serving as Christie’s lieutenant governor.

Despite having a history of electing Republicans at the state level, New Jersey is a blue-leaning state that overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election — and Murphy was the expected winner.

Murphy’s win is in part thanks to the sheer unpopularity of Christie — who recorded the lowest approval rating of any New Jersey governor in history, at 15 percent. (Remember when he and his family were caught on the state beach he had closed to New Jersey residents as part of the government shutdown? Or Bridgegate?)

Christie’s terrible reputation proved too difficult for Guadagno, who served under his governorship for seven years, to shake.

Murphy’s rise is a big win for Democrats in the state — they control the state legislature as well. And New Jersey’s governor wields more power than any other governor in the country. New Jersey doesn’t have any other statewide elected offices; the attorney general and lieutenant governor are both appointed by the governor, in addition to judges and commission members, and there is no financial comptroller.

Murphy will likely play a large role in the future of the state’s transit system and health care, and will have the authority to veto line-items in the budget — meaning he can change the budget without the approval of the state’s legislature.

His campaign was a reflection of the strong Democratic Party apparatus in the state: Murphy has out-fundraised Guadagno three to one in the general elections and notably spend more than $15 million Read More Here