Guadagno, Murphy square off in first NJ governor debate

Guadagno, Murphy square off in first NJ governor debate”

The candidates debated Tuesday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark ahead of the November 7 election.

The other debate is set for October 18.

Murphy, a former US ambassador to Germany and former executive at Wall Street banking firm Goldman Sachs, concludes by promising to "build a stronger, fairer economy that works for every New Jersey family, with investments in public schools, small businesses and infrastructure".

For her part, Guadagno labeled Murphy a "coward" for waiting until Tuesday to denounce Weinstein.

"This is a great state that has been ravaged under the Christie-Guadagno administration over the past eight years, and the middle class has paid the biggest price", Murphy said.

Murphy's response was short and delivered with a smile.

"Shame on him for not coming forward earlier", she said.

Guadagno was asked how she would address those affected by Trump's action on DACA, a program that shielded from deportation almost 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children.

Guadagno said she favors better background checks and enforcement of the state's current gun laws, which she said are restrictive enough. "And most importantly, I would have enforced it".

"I didn't ask for and I didn't get one dime from this guy", Murphy said, referring to his own campaign. The ad from Murphy ties Guadagno to her unpopular boss, Gov. Chris Christie.

By law, Chris Christie can't seek a third consecutive term as governor of New Jersey. She cites a report released by the Christie administration that said the cap saved taxpayers almost $3 billion.

Murphy fired back that he would make a decision on the arbitration cap "based on facts", rather than from a report on the issue released recently by Christie's allies.

Murphy responded by saying that the case shouldn't be politicized. If Congress and President Trump fail to reach an accord protecting undocumented immigrants who came to the minors, Murphy said, he would declare New Jersey a "sanctuary state".

Guadagno, though, pushed back at Murphy's roughly half-dozen comparisons to Christie.

In brief, Mr. Murphy supports legalizing marijuana, and Ms. Guadagno opposes legalization but supports decriminalization.

Murphy and Guadagno have spent the last several months criticizing each other to the press and in television and internet advertisements. They factored heavily at the start of the debate, with Guadagno hammering Murphy over failing to state whether he'd support renewing an expiring 2 percent cap on the salaries some police and fire officials can win in labor disputes.

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