Christie agrees to debate dates

Gov. Chris Christie today agreed to the dates for two debates with his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono.

The debates are set for Oct. 8 at William Paterson and Oct. 15 at Montclair State University.

Kean University will host a debate between the two candidates for Lieutenant Governor on Oct. 11.

The debates are required as part of the state’s matching funds program, in which both Christie and Buono are participating.

Despite Christie’s announcement, the Buono camp has not been so quick to accept the dates.  Buono campaign manager Jonathan Ducote said the campaign would like to see the second of the two debates scheduled after the Oct. 16 special election for U.S. Senate.  That election was scheduled by Christie to fill the Senate seat vacated with the death of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

“We accept and agree to the date of the first debate but we think the second should be held after the Oct. 16 special general election to properly promote it,” he said.  

Ducote said the campaign would continue to work with Montclair State to ty to change the date to the 22nd. A call to Vice President for University Advancement Jack Shannon was not immediately returned.

Election Law Enforcement Commission Executive Director Jeff Brindle said his agency only selects the sponsors of the debates and has no role in scheduling the debates.

Christie agrees to debate dates