NJ.com: TRENTON a Kim Guadagno, the Republican nominee running to become the next New Jersey governor, has unveiled the first two television advertisements of the general election a one promising to cut taxes and the other attacking Democratic opponent Phil Murphy.
The ads come as Guadagno, the lieutenant governor under outgoing Gov. Chris Christie, tries to cut into a double-digit lead by Murphy in the polls and a 4-to-1 fundraising disadvantage.
The clips also highlight how Guadagno has attempted to make the race a referendum on New Jersey’s notoriously high property taxes.
In the longer of the ads a a 30-second clip called “Break” a Guadagno notes how she grew up in a family that moved 12 times in 20 years as her father looked for work and how that makes her “understand the struggles families face.”
She then pitches how her property-tax plan will save “working families” more than $800 a year.
“I’ll cut your taxes because New Jersey families deserve a break,” Guadagno says.
Guadango calls her tax plan a “circuit-breaker” that would limit the amount homeowners pay on the school portion of their property-tax bill to 5 percent of their household income. Homeowners would receive a credit of up to $3,000 for any amount above that 5 percent threshold.
Critics warn the proposal would cost $1.5 billion, but Guadagno says she will partially pay for that by auditing the state government and eliminating waste.
The second clip a a 15-second spot a accuses Murphy of planning to raise multiple taxes on Jerseyans and includes a clip of one of Murphy’s responses during a Democratic gubernatorial primary debate earlier this year.
“We can’t afford Phil Murphy,” a narrator says at the end of the ad.
Murphy has detailed plans to raise taxes by $1.3 billion to pay for his initiatives, including hiking taxes on wealthy residents and taxing legalized marijuana. But he says he also plans to close corporate loopholes and grow the economy to help cover the costs.
Daniel Bryan, a spokesman for Murphy’s campaign, said Guadano is “resorting to half-truths and outright lies” in her ads and compared her to Christie.
“Voters are tired of the bullying and bluster of the last eight years, and Kim Guadagno is confirming that she will just be more of the same,” Bryan said, adding that Murphy is “connecting with voters because he offers a real plan to build a stronger, fairer economy that works for all New Jersey families, not gimmicks and divisive politics.”
Ricky Diaz, a spokesman for Guadagno’s campaign, would not reveal how much the ad buy was or where the clips will run.
The attack ad on Murphy was airing on television as of Friday but is not available online. Diaz said the other ad a which is available on Guadagno’s YouTube page a will begin running by Monday.
Murphy has yet to release a TV ad in the general election.
Murphy leads Guadagno by 25 percentage points in a Quinnpiac University Poll released this week.
But the poll also shows about 40 percent of likely New Jersey voters don’t know much about either candidates and that taxes are the most important issue in the race to voters.
Whoever wins the Nov. 7 election will succeed Christie, a Republican who is term-limited and scheduled to leave office Jan. 18.