The Buono-Silva campaign has agreed to a first debate between the Senator and Gov. Chris Christie and another for running mate Milly Silva to debate LG Kim Guadagno. But Buono’s looking for a second debate that comes after and not before the bright shiny object Gov. Christie’s questionable special election timetable will make of the few days leading up to the October 16 election of New Jersey’s next Senator. Christie is agreeing to a second debate date of October 15 at Montclair State University, the night before the Senate election, during Cory Booker’s and Steve Lonegan’s GOTV, when no partisan on either side, or the political media, will be paying the slightest attention to anything candidates for Governor do.
But that’s how Gov. Christie wants it. His highly-questionable, and expensive special election – coming on an unfamiliar Wednesday three weeks before the November election (which Star-Ledger calls a ‘self-serving stunt’) is an obvious calculation to deliver him not only a likely victory but a blow-out unmarred by Cory Booker’s name on any ballot that also bears his name. And once again, taxpayers and voters are footing the bill to legend-build for Christie’s pitch for the White House. Buono campaign manager Jonathan Ducote:
“Senator Buono looks forward to a robust debate that offers New Jersey’s electorate an opportunity to understand the stark differences on the issues. However, we have not agreed to a date for the second gubernatorial debate and will continue to work to find a solution that serves the best interests of the public.”
“We urge the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission to require Montclair State University to hold the debate on October 22nd, as originally proposed; require the debate to be held at some other time between October 17th and October 25th; or to select an alternate debate sponsor who will hold the debate on a date that complies with the statute without diminishing outreach to the voting public.”
Buono’s campaign has agreed to a gubernatorial debate the night of October 8 at William Paterson University, sponsored by the CBS affiliate in New York (WCBS-TV), The Record, Gannett NJ newspapers and the university, and an LG debate, sponsored by News 12 New Jersey and Kean State University on October 11.