Trenton, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican Rep. Jack Theatarelli engaged in a sometimes bitter and raucous debate on Tuesday during the first of two meetings in this year’s gubernatorial race. rice field.
First-term Democratic Congressman Murphy and former Republican Congressman Theatarelli meet at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, where a debate was punctuated incessantly by cheers and boos from the audience despite the moderator’s pleas. was.
Murphy’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak played a central role early on. Specifically, his response to the pandemic in his home, Nursing, which accounts for about a third of his 27,000 deaths in the state. Ciattarelli criticized his early 2020 Murphy order to require nursing home residents to return from the hospital regardless of their COVID-19 status.
Murphy defended the order as he has been doing for months, saying the facility is a resident’s home and management must keep returning residents separate from other residents. But Murphy quickly veered to vaccinate under the hood of a mandate that opponents had been skeptical about.
“That’s your call, saying the government can’t mandate vaccines or masks is like driving drunk,” Murphy said. will give you.”
The governor also attacked Chatarelli for saying it was up to them whether people get vaccinated. Requires inspection.
Chatarelli said he has been vaccinated and believes people should be vaccinated, but he is out of line with what the government should be demanding.
“Do you think the government has the right to tell people they have to take medicine?” he said. “No.”
As for whether young children should wear masks at school, Mr. Chatarelli said it was up to parents. Murphy signed an executive order requiring masking not only in state schools, but also in day care.
However, Ciatarelli said he agreed with Murphy demanding that teachers be vaccinated or tested. People should have a choice, he said.
Crammed into the hour-long debate was what seemed to be an endless conflict.
The candidates found little in common — except they both admired the state’s diversity.
On taxes: Thea Tarelli repeated his mid-campaign criticism of Murphy, grabbing a clip of Murphy saying, “If taxes are your problem, we probably aren’t your state,” commented by New Jersey reeds. Said disqualified in states like .. countries with property tax rates.
Murphy has repeatedly posed the election as a matter of “keep moving forward” or going backwards, alluding to former Republican Governor Chris Christie and former President Donald Trump. He touted higher taxes for those earning over $1 million a year, more school subsidies, and the state fully paying for civil servants’ pensions.
He also promised never to raise taxes again if he is re-elected.
Chatarelli wasn’t the only one to classify behavior as a disqualification. Murphy said a clip of him speaking in front of someone holding a “Stop Stealing” sign at a January 6 rally disqualified him for office. Chatarelli was unaware that the event was held to support Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen. led to riots at the Capitol on the same day.
Regarding abortions, Murphy pointed to Theatarelli’s vote in Congress against funding women’s health services, including Planned Parenthood. .
Thea Tarelli denied Texas law and said he supported Roe v. Wade, but not late-term abortion.
On gun control, Ciattarelli argued that Murphy probably wanted the Second Amendment to end. Murphy protested, but he signed state gun laws, red flag laws, and magazines touted laws he signed to strengthen bills limiting clips to ten shots.
Murphy will become the first Democrat to win re-election in 44 years, bucking a trend dating back to 1985 that saw a president’s party lose the governor of New Jersey.
Ciattarelli faces headwinds. He trails by double digits in public polls and faces a Democratic registration advantage with a million more voters than him. He is also not a widely known figure in the state.
Ciattarelli is a former state legislator and founder of a medical publishing company. He has an accounting background and campaigns for affordability, arguing that taxes in New Jersey are too high.
Becoming governor is Murphy’s first elected political position. He served as Barack Obama’s ambassador to Germany and before that was an executive at Goldman Sachs.
Early voting will take place in New Jersey from October 23-31. Election Day is November 2nd.
The debate was produced by ABC affiliates in New York and Philadelphia, Twitter, Univision, WBGO Radio, NJ.com and the Rutgers-Eagleton Institute of Political Studies.
A second round of final debate will take place on October 12th.