NJ gov race: Murphy, Ciattarelli clash in first debate of election

New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattarelli sparred in an at-times testy and raucous debate Tuesday night.

It was the first of two meetings in this year’s campaign for governor.

Murphy, a first-term Democrat, and Ciattarelli, a former GOP Assembly member, met at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark in a debate interrupted continuously by cheers and boos from the audience despite pleas from moderators.

Packed into an hourlong debate were seemingly endless clashes.

Ciattarelli disagreed with the governor’s handling of COVID-19, calling it a parent’s choice whether children should wear masks, while Murphy has mandated it.

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