Democrat Brendan T. Byrne lived up to pre-election predictions and over-whelmingly defeated conservative Republican Congressman Charles W. Sandman in New Jersey's gubernatorial election.
Byrne, who is 49 years old and served as a prosecutor and judge, won a race in which much of the attention focused on his opponent's campaign.
Sandman gained the Republican nomination for governor after he defeated incumbent Governor William T. Cahill in an intensive battle last June. Cahill, a moderate, subsequently formally endorsed Sandman but did little else to aid the Republican nominee. Republican Senator Clifford Case did not even accord Sandman that formality and both he and Cahill remained silent throughout the campaign.
Sandman began his campaign promising lower taxes. However Cahill removed the rug from under Sandman's feet when he announced a $200 million surplus in the state's budget.
Sandman followed the philosophy of F. Clifton White, a conservative Republican campaign strategist. He maintained a low profile in the final month of the race expecting to unleash a vigorous campaign effort. But this tactic failed when moderate Republicans refused to finance Sandman's campaign and he could not afford the radio and television time which he had originally planned to buy in a last-minute blitz effort.