NJ Gov Race: Debates Set for October

Kim Guadagno, left. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy will face each other on the debate stage twice in October, just weeks before voters head to the polls cast their ballots for governor.

The first debate will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. That debate will be broadcast on ABC New York, PVI Philadelphia and Univision. NJ Advance Media, NJBIZ, NJ Spotlight, Rutgers University and other partners will contribute to the debate stream it online. ABC New York’s Sade Baderwinwa and ABC Philadelphia’s Jim Gardner will moderate.

The second debate will be held eight days later on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. at William Paterson University in Wayne. Debate partners include The Record and other Gannett newspapers, CBS New York and KYW Philadelphia. The William Paterson debate will be moderated by CBS New York’s Kristine Johnson, KYW Philadelphia’s Jessica Dean and The Record’s Alfred Doblin.

At the debates, Murphy will likely seize on Guadagno’s close ties to Gov. Chris Christie and his 15 percent approval rating. Guadagno will likely focus on her vow to cut property taxes and criticize Murphy for being a “tax-and-spend” liberal, reiterating claims that Murphy’s campaign platform, if implemented, would cost billions of dollars.

Running mates — including recently announced Democratic candidate Sheila Oliver — will debate at a separate event hosted by Montclair State University. The Election Law Enforcement Commission has yet to announce the running mate debate details.

New Jersey election law requires that all publicly financed gubernatorial candidates participate in two debates and that publicly financed lieutenant governor candidates participate in one debate. Murphy and Guadagno have qualified for the matching funds program. The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7. NJ Gov Race: Debates Set for October