New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Republican nominee Jack Ciatarelli face off in final debate before Election Day – CBS New York
Glasboro, NJ (CBSNewYork) — There are only three weeks left before New Jersey voters choose a governor, and the two candidates faced off in their second and final debate Tuesday night.
Governor Phil MurphyHis lead in the polls has diminished in recent weeks, so with time running out before Election Day, this debate has been a crucial conversation for voters to hear.
The Democratic governor faced his Republican challenger Jack Ciatarelli for the second time at Rowan University in Glassboro, South Jersey.
As CBS2’s Jessica Leighton mentioned, the tone was similar to that of First debate in Newark – Tense and sometimes bad.
The two men exchanged curses on many important issues, including pandemic response, imposition of vaccines and masks, taxes, unemployment, and the state budget.
“We inherited a complete mess, and you were there for six years before I was, so we paid out a $6.905 billion pension, the first in 25 years. We funded public education after you all couldn’t fund it with $9.2 billion,” Murphy said. We pay our bills.”
“The budget is up $11 billion. People don’t want charity, they want help, and they want lower property taxes in the state,” Cetarelli said.
“This is insulting,” Murphy said.
The two also discuss abortion rights, mass transit funding, and diversity and inclusion.
Watch Nick Calloway’s report –
The current Murphy has been advocating his handling of the outbreak over the past 20 months, but some say his tougher COVID policies are also on the ballot on November 2.
State Republican Senator Holly Chapeisy said Democratic voters are calling her office saying they plan to vote Republican.
“The indiscriminate mask mandate that two-year-olds should wear a mask has pushed even those who are staunchly pro-vaccination, and whose older children do wear masks, over the edge,” said Nick Calloway of CBS 2:
Murphy and other Democrats have attempted to link Chiatarelli with former President Donald Trump, who lost twice in New Jersey.
Sealy Avelinda is the executive director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.
“You have science telling you what will help us get through this pandemic. We have vaccines and we have masks. Science and data are telling us that. And the fact that the Republican Party has politicized it and turned it into something that has no scientific basis, that’s on them,” she said.
Ciatarelli has attacked Murphy on a range of issues, including high state taxes, but for most voters, the number one issue is the pandemic.
Ashley Koning is an associate research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Surveys at Rutgers University.
“Murphy’s ratings have gone up throughout the entire period of the pandemic and she’s still very strong with voters about that, and that’s something that’s at the forefront of New Jersey voters’ minds,” she said.
There are more than a million registered Democrats in New Jersey than there are Republicans.
Early in-person voting begins October 23 and runs through Halloween.
More news: Election Day Guide for Voters in New Jersey
CBS2’s Nick Calloway and Jessica Leighton contributed to this report.