Guadagno calls on Murphy to meet for 2 more debates

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Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is calling for two more debates with Democratic opponent Phil Murphy in the race to succeed Gov. Chris Christie.

Guadagno made the challenge Wednesday after their first official bout Tuesday in Newark.

“In Virginia, the only other governor's race this year, they have 15 debates,” Guadagno said. “I think the two debates we have scheduled are not nearly enough for the people of New Jersey to see the real Phil Murphy.”

RELATED: Guadagno, Murphy face off in 1st gubernatorial debate

The debate aired on ABC stations in New York and Philadelphia and was the first of two planned debates before the Nov. 7 election.

Murphy spent part of the morning campaigning with former Secretary of State John Kerry at a VFW hall in Clifton. He answered questions from veterans on a variety of topics pertaining to them.

He said that as governor he wants to offer better mental health services for veterans in distress, as well as bring more jobs to the state and more affordable housing options.

"We need, I believe, new leadership that understands how you grow the economy. You make it fair and you make it touch all of us not just some of us,” he said.

Guadagno met with a small business owner at Skylight Auto Body in Bergenfield. 

She weighed in on Murphy's idea to split the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs into two agencies, saying that it would just create more bureaucracy.

“I’ve got some skin in this game. I’m not just coming at this new. I’m the mother of a first lieutenant who’s presently flying F-16s in San Antonio,” she said.

Guadagno's request for more debates comes as she trails in the polls and raising cash.

Murphy’s campaign manager responded to Guadagno’s request, pointing out that Guadagno herself backed out of two forums with Murphy in September. It seemed to be a refusal of her invitation.

Murphy and Guadagno are set to debate again on Oct. 18 at William Paterson University.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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