Debate sponsor says Star-Ledger offered to withdraw after early endorsement

No word yet on who, if anyone, will replace the Star-Ledger’s Tom Moran as a panelist at the gubernatorial debate on Friday night.

The Star-Ledger withdrew its sponsorship of the event after the paper endorsed independent gubernatorial candidate Christopher Daggett in yesterday’s edition – an apparent violation of state regulations that required them to wait until after the completion of the debate to issue an endorsement.

A Star-Ledger representative called the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission and William Paterson University – the debate’s host venue – to withdraw, according to Patrick DeDeo, a spokesman for the university.

“The Ledger understood and they took care of it,” he said.

The other two panelists are The Record’s Alfred Doblin and WTXF Fox 29 news anchor Thomas Drayton.

DeDeo said that he wanted to talk to ELEC before deciding whether to replace Moran, and what criteria the sponsors should use in picking a different journalist.

“We’ve spoken with our other partners and gotten some ideas. Nothing is concrete, and we want to run everything we do by ELEC,” he said.

Debate sponsor says Star-Ledger offered to withdraw after early endorsement