TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his family had the beach to themselves Saturday after a budget deadlock closed state-run tourist attractions to the public.
The Republican governor shut down the state government Friday night after the Legislature failed to pass a budget. Christie said he will convene both houses of the Legislature on Monday morning in an attempt to break the impasse.
The shutdown forced the closure of tourist attractions and furloughed an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 state workers.
All 40 state parks, recreational areas, historic sites, state beaches and Liberty State Park were closed just as the July Fourth holiday weekend got underway.
Campers who stayed in parks Friday night were asked to leave Saturday morning, Christie said.
“That’s just the way it goes,” Christie said Saturday in response to a reporter’s questions during a news conference. “Run for governor and you can have a residence.”
Meanwhile, Christie and his family had full run of Island Beach State Park, a barrier island where the state-owned governor’s residence is located.
N.J. Advance Media showed Christie sunning himself with his family — the only people on the beach.
On Sunday, Christie took the state helicopter to Trenton for a news conference.
He was asked about staying at the beach while the beaches were closed to the public.
“I didn’t get any sun today,” Christie responded.
When shown the pictures, a Christie spokesman responded: “He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on.”