It may be eight months to Election Day, but five of New Jersey’s gubernatorial candidates took the opportunity at a business forum in New Brunswick this past Friday to start staking out their territory: Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, State Sen. Ray Lesniak, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, and former Ambassador Phil Murphy.
The get-together, sponsored by the NAIOP, the New Jersey chapter of the commercial real estate development association, gave the hopefuls a live audience to test their message.
Guadagno stressed putting some daylight between herself and Gov. Chris Christie, as well as her record, stressing her role in creating jobs.
Wisniewski emphasized his work improving infrastructure, strengthening the middle class, and putting the pension fund back in the black.
For Lesniak, who’s been in office for 34 years, it was his “proven record of getting things done.” That includes eliminating waste in school districts that are already strapped for cash.
Ciattarelli focused on the education and experience that he believes uniquely suits him to streamlining state government revising the tax code — MBA, CPA, entrepreneur, and business owner.
And Murphy touted his leadership skills, arguing, “This state is desperate for adult leadership. Leadership that has skills explicitly applicable to the moment in time that we find ourselves, which is getting the economy going and growing again.”
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