The Star-Ledger will not participate in Friday's gubernatorial debate after violating a state regulation that prohibits debate sponsors from endorsing candidates before the completion of the debate.The newspaper endorsed independent Christopher Daggett on Sunday.
"There were conversations yesterday with ELEC regarding the Star-Ledger endorsement," said Patrick DeDeo, the Director of External Relations for William Paterson University, one of the debate sponsors and the host. "As such, the Star-Ledger is no longer a partner in the debate and their reporter, Tom Moran, will not participate on the panel."
The other partners in the debate, William Paterson University, The Record, the Herald News, WOR-TV, WTXF-TV, and Fox News, are discussing possible replacements for Moran.
The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), in their published regulations on gubernatorial debate sponsorship (N.J.A.C. 19:25-15.50) states that "to be eligible for selection by the Commission to sponsor one or both of the gubernatorial general election debates, an organization… must not have endorsed any candidate in the pending general election for the office of Governor and must agree not to make any such endorsement until the completion of any debate sponsored by the organization."