The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) will meet by telephone on Monday afternoon to discuss a request from New Jersey Network to move the gubernatorial debate from October 1 to October 22.
According to a Star-Ledger report, Gov. Jon Corzine told NJN that he would not participate in a debate on October 1, but might be available later in the month. Because he is not accepting public matching funds, he is not required to take part in the official debate. The Corzine campaign has said the governor would likely be in three debates, but has never said which ones. Essentially, that means the Maurice River Kiwanis Club could be a possibility.
The two candidates who must participate, Republican Christopher Christie and independent Christopher Daggett, say that the late debates would favor Corzine. They seem to want NJN, the debate sponsor, to stick to their guns and force Corzine to decide if he wants an empty chair or not. Clearly Daggett, who is polling in the single digits, wants the earlier exposure.
The later date could conflict with Game 5 of Major League Baseball’s Division Championship series, which is tentatively set for October 22. The MLB post-season does not begin until October 7.
Prediction: ELEC will vote unanimously to change the dates.