Candidates for New Jersey governor square off in 2 debates

Posted: Updated:
GALLOWAY -

Six candidates running to be the next governor of New Jersey squared off in two debates at Stockton University Tuesday evening in Galloway.

Republicans Kim Guadagno and Jack Ciattarelli debated each other first, followed by Democrats Phil Murphy, Jim Johnson, Ray Lesniak and John Wisniewski.

Assemblyman Ciattarelli referenced current Gov. Chris Christie’s low approval rating during the debate. Guadagno is Christie’s lieutenant governor.

“Come November, after eight years of Christie and Guadagno, the only way Republicans win is with a new messenger, new direction,” he said.

Lt. Gov. Guadagno repeatedly referred to her property tax proposal plan, which caps portions of homeowners’ property taxes when it exceeds 5 percent of their income.

“I’m the only candidate on this stage who proposed a plan, the circuit breaker, to help people in New Jersey who need the help the most now,” she said.

But Guadagno’s plan would create a $1.5 billion hold in the state budget, and Ciattarelli said that she had no way to pay for it.

“Any candidate who speaks to solve our property tax crisis without first addressing school funding is either oblivious or being disingenuous,” he said.

Candidates during the Democratic debate focused on the front-runner and biggest spender in the primary race, Phil Murphy, former ambassador to Germany.

“New Jersey is not for sale,” said candidate Jim Johnson.

“There’s only one candidate who keeps bidding up the price,” said candidate and New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

Murphy proposed creating a state-owned public bank to allow college students and small businesses to access loans at equitable rates. But Wisniewski slammed that plan.

“A state bank would be a disaster,” he said. “If Murphy wants to create a state bank, maybe he should go back to Wall Street.”

Murphy, a State House outsider, is currently leading above all other candidates, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

There are several other candidates running for governor who were not able to participate in the debate.

The Election Law Enforcement Commission only allows candidates in these debates who have at least $430,000 in their campaign funds. Critics say that these rules favor wealthy candidates.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: George H.W. Bush through the years

    PHOTOS: George H.W. Bush through the years

    George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died Nov. 30 at the age of 94.

    George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died Nov. 30 at the age of 94.

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Monday, December 10 2018 12:00 AM EST2018-12-10 05:00:41 GMT
    Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

  • Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Wednesday, December 5 2018 7:37 AM EST2018-12-05 12:37:03 GMT
    From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."