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Republican Jack Ciattarelli, left, greets Gov. Phil Murphy at a debate at Rowan University on October 12, 2021.

Statements on the Gubernatorial Debate

By David Wildstein, October 12 2021 9:04 pm

REPUBLICAN STATE CHAIRMAN BOB HUGIN

“Tonight, we saw Phil Murphy once again dodge his record and attempt to deflect responsibility for his many failures of leadership. The bottom line is this: Murphy is the only person on the stage tonight whose policies contributed to the deaths of thousands of seniors and veterans and whose lockdowns led to the demise of a third of New Jersey’s small businesses.  By contrast, Jack offered a way forward. We have an opportunity to change course and become a state where businesses can thrive and families can afford to stay together. The “Most Powerful Governor in America” may have not had a check on his power trip for the past four years, but this November, New Jersey voters will finally put an end to the madness.”

DEMOCRATIC STATE CHAIRMAN LEROY JONES

“Governor Murphy showed again tonight why it’s so critical that New Jersey voters head to the polls in large numbers and re-elect him along with Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. It’s crystal clear that Governor Murphy’s leadership through the pandemic and his commitment to progressive values are what New Jersey needs right now, not the extreme far-right approach that Jack Ciattarelli represents. The stakes of this election are incredibly high. We cannot allow our state to be led by an extremist who embraces far-right, anti-science positions at this important moment. We need to re-elect our Governor, and I will be working non-stop over the next three weeks to make sure Democrats and all voters understand what’s at stake.”

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON RACHEL LEE

“Even tonight, Phil Murphy’s botched response to COVID-19 – that led to the deaths of over 8,000 seniors and more than 190 veterans – remains under investigation by the Department of Justice. The veterans, seniors, families, and workers of New Jersey cannot afford four more years of Murphy’s reckless judgement and careless leadership.”

DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION POLITICAL DIRECTOR MARSHALL COHEN

“In laying out his concrete record of fighting for New Jerseyans, Gov. Phil Murphy clearly demonstrated in tonight’s debate why he’s the only choice for governor.  Meanwhile, the only thing Jack Ciattarelli managed to prove is that his agenda is too extreme for the state. Jack’s debate night strategy of repeating right-wing soundbites recycled from Donald Trump and Chris Christie will not resonate with New Jerseyans, who have soundly rejected Ciattarelli’s same brand of far-right extremism over and over again.  While Jack wants to drag New Jersey back to the days of Christie and Trump, Gov. Murphy is committed to moving the state forward towards a stronger and fairer New Jersey — and he’s got the track record to show for it. The achievements that have marked his time as governor, like boosting the state’s economy and increasing access to health care, are unparalleled and unmatched. Now more than ever, as New Jersey faces navigating COVID and continuing along the road to economic recovery, the state needs a leader with a proven record of finding solutions to the issues facing working families. Tonight, Gov. Murphy once again showed why he remains the man for the job.”

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