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.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • 4 US governors, including Murphy, join forces on gun safety

    4 US governors, including Murphy, join forces on gun safety

    Thursday, February 22 2018 1:11 PM EST2018-02-22 18:11:21 GMT
    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and three other regional governors announced Thursday that they're banding together to create the “States for Gun Safety” coalition.New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and three other regional governors announced Thursday that they're banding together to create the “States for Gun Safety” coalition.

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and three other governors announced Thursday that they're banding together to create the “States for Gun Safety” coalition.

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and three other governors announced Thursday that they're banding together to create the “States for Gun Safety” coalition.

  • Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

    Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

    Thursday, February 22 2018 5:55 AM EST2018-02-22 10:55:53 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 1:10 PM EST2018-02-22 18:10:48 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) President Donald Trump, looks to Julia Cordover, the student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as she speaks during a listening session at the White House in Washington, Feb. 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) President Donald Trump, looks to Julia Cordover, the student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as she speaks during a listening session at the White House in Washington, Feb. 21, 2018.

    President Donald Trump on Thursday endorsed a higher minimum age for buying certain firearms and tighter background checks.

    President Donald Trump on Thursday endorsed a higher minimum age for buying certain firearms and tighter background checks.

  • New Jersey to uphold Paris climate pact under new law

    New Jersey to uphold Paris climate pact under new law

    Thursday, February 22 2018 7:47 AM EST2018-02-22 12:47:35 GMT
    (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Then-Democratic candidate Phil Murphy speaks at a rally in Newark, New Jersey, Oct. 19, 2017.(Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Then-Democratic candidate Phil Murphy speaks at a rally in Newark, New Jersey, Oct. 19, 2017.

    New Jersey is joining more than a dozen other states to uphold an international climate accord.

    New Jersey is joining more than a dozen other states to uphold an international climate accord.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe 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."