Murphy, Guadagno Stick to Attacks in TV Debate

The Democrat raised more money in public funds than the Republican.

Oct. 19, 2017, 11:18 a.m.

“In a race that has turned caustic in its waning days,” former Ambassador Phil Murphy (D) and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) “spent most of” their second TV debate “Wednesday night speaking past each other, seemingly eager to land the next attack.”

“Guadagno focused on property taxes, tying nearly every answer back to her vow to lower the burden on voters, partly through her plan to cap school property taxes at 5 percent of a family’s annual income. Mr. Murphy, she said, had no plan to lower property taxes.”

“For his part, Mr. Murphy said ensuring that the state fulfills its obligation to fund schools completely was a form of property-tax relief, since it would lessen the burden on individual taxpayers. He said the Christie administration underfunded New Jersey schools by $9 billion. … Murphy … has at times pursued a cautious approach, trying, it seems, not to stumble while having the upper hand. At Wednesday’s debate, he sought to avoid providing direct answers on some divisive issues. When asked if he would commit to extending a cap on raises for police officers and firefighters, he demurred, saying he was waiting for a report on the issue, which is scheduled to be released in December.”

“Murphy noted that he and his opponent occasionally took similar positions on issues during the campaign that were different from Mr. Christie. But referring to her tenure as lieutenant governor to Mr. Christie, he asked, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘If I had a battle, I made those in private,’ she said.”

“Guadagno also said that she supports Mr. Christie’s plan to offer Amazon billions in tax credits to try to persuade the company to locate its second headquarters in New Jersey, though she did not commit to having it be in Newark. Mr. Murphy said he endorsed the idea of luring Amazon to the state, but wanted to ensure that New Jersey also would gain from any deal.” (New York Times)

Throughout the debate, Guadagno distanced herself from Christie, instead trying to tie Murphy to the unpopular governor. (

MONEY MATTERS. Murphy earned another $871,000 in public funds on Wednesday, while Guadagno got $217,000.

Murphy can only receive another $1 million in public funds, while Guadagno has only received $2.3 million public funds of the $9.3 million allowed. (release)

“In what the state’s election watchdog says is an indication that campaign donors are sidestepping New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws, fundraising by party-based committees is down for the 2017 election cycle when compared with 2013, the last time the governor’s seat and full Legislature were up for grabs. That has led to calls from the state Election Law Enforcement Commission to update the laws regarding political donations, particularly those that apply to special-interest groups that are loosely affiliated with a party.” (Bergen Record)

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