TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey’s gubernatorial election is coming into focus, with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy defending his progressive record and Republican Jack Ciattarelli homing in on affordability and taxes.
Ciattarelli emerged Tuesday as the winner in a four-way GOP primary, while Murphy won his uncontested race.
The election is just one of two for governor in the nation this year, along with Virginia.
The races stand out because they occur in odd years and traditionally invite national scrutiny since they occur just after presidential elections.
Murphy is trying to buck a more than four-decade pattern of Democrats failing to win reelection.
Ciattarelli faces strong headwinds, too, with Republicans outnumbered by Democrats by 1 million registered voters.
Murphy announced Wednesday that he had agreed to participate in two General Election debates.
“I’m eager to participate in a robust conversation to highlight our strong track record of accomplishments that are uplifting working families and moving New Jersey forward,” said Murphy in a statement. “While Assemblyman Ciattarelli is focused on rolling back our progress, we’re committed to delivering on our pledge to make New Jersey stronger, fairer, and more resilient, and we know our work isn’t done yet.”
No dates have been set yet for either debate.
Ciattarelli hammered home a message of making Murphy “one and done” in 2021 in a victory speech Tuesday night.