Sparks Fly At The First NJ Gubernatorial Debate

Oct 10, 2017

The candidates share a laugh before the debate.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

Republican candidate Kim Guadagno says she’ll lower Garden State property taxes if elected Governor.  Democrat Phil Murphy says she’s already had eight years to make it happen.

“So she can talk all she wants about audit’s and consolidations and property tax relief, all good and well, but where have you been?  With all due respect, we may not have everything right but I’ll tell you one thing we do have right.  We represent change.”

Republican Kim Guadagno says she enjoyed her time on the debate stage.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

Murphy says he’ll fully fund the public education and pension systems in New Jersey.  Guadagno says he has no realistic way to achieve his plans. 

“What he did say is he would fund those as soon as he could.    Quite frankly Phil, that sounds like the Chris Christie plan.  I think we need to sit down and talk about what we can afford to do, how we can afford to do it, and talk about it honestly.”

There was a lot of talk about Governor Chris Christie.  Most of if came in the form of attacks from Murphy.

Democrat Phil Murphy questions Republican Kim Guadagno's ability to enact policies after the debate.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

“You’re proving Lieutenant Governor along with Governor Christie that you were Trump before Trump was Trump," Murphy said implicating decietful actions from the current administration.

Guadagno says Murphy’s constant back tracking is his way of avoiding real answers.

“The inconvenient truth for Phil is that Chris Christie is not on the ballot.  I’m on the ballot and I’m looking forward to the next four years.  You didn’t see me go back and call Phil Murphy ‘Corzine 2.0’ because I’m looking forward to the next four years, not behind.”

Guadagno did make reference to ‘The last time we had a Goldman Sachs governor’ in regards to high unemployment rates during the Corzine administration.

“The last time we had a Goldman Sachs governor in charge we had 9 percent unemployment.  This governor asked me to be in charge of one thing.  That is lowering the unemployment rate.  Today, our unemployment rate, even though we are the highest taxed state in the country went from 9.8 to 4.5 percent or a little over.”

The democrat says a Murphy Administration represents change from the failed policies of the last eight years.

“We can change leadership.  Leadership that celebrates and rebuilds the middle class and the bridges into the middle class.  Leadership that funds public education and infrastructure.  Leadership that’s inclusive and makes our state fair again for everybody.”

The second and final gubernatorial debate before election day takes place at William Paterson University next week.