The two contenders for governor of New Jersey will have their biggest chance yet to woo voters when they go head to head in the first of two gubernatorial debates on the evening of Sept. 28.
Gov. Phil Murphy, the incumbent Democrat, will square off for a full hour against Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a Somerset County-based accountant and former state assemblyman, at 7 p.m. at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
A second debate between the two is scheduled for Oct. 12 at Rowan University in Glassboro. And a debate between the lieutenant governor candidates – incumbent Democrat Sheila Oliver and former GOP state Sen. Diane Allen – is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Rider University.
Tonight’s debate will be streamed live at NJ.com, and broadcast live on the ABC-owned Univision, WABC and WPVI’s streaming apps, ABC7/WABC-TV New York and 6ABC/WPVI-TV Philadelphia, respectively. Television streaming devices and apps Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and Hulu will also stream the debate.
With 1 million more registered Democrats than Republicans in New Jersey, Murphy leads Ciattarelli by 13 points according to the latest poll released last week by Monmouth University.
Ciattarelli has attacked Murphy over his COVID-19 response, including mass business closures that have driven up unemployment. He’s also gone after widespread delays in getting unemployment assistance, and the high death tolls at the state’s nursing homes.
Ciattarelli has also gone in on Murphy over high taxes in New Jersey.
Murphy in turn has attacked Ciattarelli on his ties to former President Donald Trump and his support for the unproven election fraud conspiracies. The current governor has also criticized Ciattarelli over his support of anti-mask and anti-vaccination policies, and his expression of those stances.
Both candidates have been criticized for being light on proposed fixes for any of these policy issues.
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