The New Jersey Gubernatorial Campaign

The Story:

This November, voters in New Jersey will determine whether Governor Phil Murphy (D) will get a second term, or whether he will be replaced by an entrepreneur who owns a medical publishing company, Jack Ciattarelli (R).

The Debate:

The two candidates held their first debate on September 28. On policy, each candidate made potentially important news. Ciattarelli said that he supports the issuance of driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. Murphy said that he will not raise any more taxes in his second term.

The debate, which took part in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, featured a fairly raucous live audience, with partisans of both candidates in attendance.

According to polls, Murphy is leading the race by double digits. He is leading in the northern and central parts of the state, although Ciattarelli is neck-and-neck with him in the south.

The Thing to Know:

Perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, the debate featured a sharp exchange over marijuana. Last year, in a referendum, the state’s voters approved legalization. Ciattarelli made it clear he was unhappy about this, he thought the issue “did not belong on the ballot” and he expected that many of the pro-legalization voters by now have buyer’s remorse.

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