Former Ambassador Phil Murphy (D) on Tuesday released a new TV ad, arguing that “four more years of [Lt. Gov.] Kim Guadagno (R) is unaffordable,” citing “billions in corporate tax breaks;” hikes in property taxes, the cost of college, and college tuition; defunding of women’s health programs; and “millions to whitewash the Bridgegate scandal.” (release)
The Human Rights Campaign endorsed Murphy on Monday. “HRC estimates there are approximately 2.3 million pro-equality LGBTQ and allied voters in the state.”
HRC SVP JoDee Winterhof: “Murphy has made advancing LGBTQ equality a key component of his vision for the future of the Garden State, and it’s absolutely crucial that pro-equality voters turn out to elect him.” (release)
Murphy also won the endorsement of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial board, who wrote that he “has the skills and ideas for the job. The Democratic nominee promises to balance the state budget by imposing a millionaire’s tax, closing corporate tax loopholes, and legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana. He would use the money to adequately fund public schools, fix roads and transit, and make payments to meet the state’s growing pension obligation. … Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), who has not distanced herself from the disastrous polices [sic] of Gov. [Chris] Christie, which have reduced services and scrambled state finances. Worse, Guadagno undermined her credibility with a Willie Horton-type ad accusing Murphy of supporting murderous immigrants.” (Philly.com)
LONG VIEW ON A LONG SHOT. “[I]n the waning days of the race to become New Jersey’s next governor, … Guadagno … has taken a sharp turn to the right. … During the last debate, Ms. Guadagno referred to undocumented immigrants as ‘illegal aliens’’ who were potentially violent criminals, as she described in gruesome details two crimes committed by suspects who were in the country illegally. And on Monday, her campaign proposed a ban on so-called sanctuary cities that would ‘give the governor authority to withhold funding or issue fines to sanctuary cities harboring violent criminals.’”
“Ms. Guadagno’s more conservative approach places her at odds with more moderate Republicans in New Jersey, but her willingness to embrace the kind of divisive politics she has avoided for much of her career appears to be an 11th-hour appeal to her party’s base in the hopes that it will drive up turnout in what has been a very low-interest race. It is a tall order in New Jersey, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 800,000. For Republicans to win a statewide campaign, they usually need to win over many unaffiliated voters whose views tend not to skew to far to the left or the right.
“But, if nothing else, the ad did get Ms. Guadagno noticed in an election that has gotten little attention. The ad captured headlines across the country and it was shown on newscasts even before the Guadagno campaign had spent money to show it on television. The ad has appeared almost exclusively on cable channels, according to Advertising Analytics, a company that tracks advertising. Ads on most cable channels are often less expensive and reach a smaller, more targeted audience.” (New York Times)
Republicans contend that Guadagno is “exceeding expectations as the party’s top-of-the-ticket nominee, arguing that on the issues matrix, she’s done a good job of using Murphy’s words against him on two critical suburban issues: taxes and sanctuary cities.” (InsiderNJ)
SOME SPECIFICS. “Murphy said that it would take longer than a year to accomplish one of his central promises to fully fund the pension, but he said fully funding the state’s education formula would be done ‘immediately.’ … His plan calls for $1.3 billion in new revenue, including an increase in income tax rates for those making more than $1 million annually.” (AP)
Murphy in the same interview pointed to his career “as a trouble shooter, or as a turnaround person” at Goldman Sachs as an argument for why he’ll succeed as governor.
He also declined to say if he’ll live in the governor’s mansion, Drumthwacket, or use the state police helicopter if elected. (AP)