NJ Gubernatorial Candidate Debates Announced

Kim Guadagno at the Ocean County GOP Convention on March 8, 2017. Kevin B Sanders for Observer

The Republicans and Democrats vying for their party’s nominations will face each other in four public debates — two for Republicans and two for Democrats — according to a Tuesday announcement from the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

The first two debates will both be held on May 9 at Stockton University. The first will start at 6:30 p.m. and the second debate will begin at 8:00 p.m. Stockton officials will decide whether Republicans or Democrats take the stage first. The debates at Stockton will be streamed on Facebook live and later rebroadcast on NJTV.

A second debate for Democrats will be held on May 11. The second debate for Republicans will be held on May 18. Both of those debates will take place at the  Agnes Varris Studio, 2 Gateway Center, Newark. The Newark debates will be broadcast live by NJTV, NJ Spotlight, WNET and C-SPAN.

While only candidates who qualify for public matching funds are required to participate in debates, candidates who commit to spending at least $430,000 on their campaigns may also participate. The Republican debates will include Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. The Democratic debates will include former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy, former US Treasury Department official Jim Johnson, Senator Raymond Lesniak, and Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

The primary will be held on June 6. The candidates who win their respective party primaries will face off in debates ahead of the general election.