New Jersey’s GOP nominee for governor focuses on tax plan in first campaign ad

The Republican nominee in New Jersey’s race for governor has launched a new TV ad. In the 30-second spot, Kim Guadagno highlights her plan to cut property taxes.

“That’s the difference between Phil Murphy and me,” she says in the ad. “He’s already said he will raise your taxes.”

Seton Hall public affairs professor Matthew Hale questions whether the commercial will connect with voters.

“The way she’s describing her property tax cut is pretty convoluted and pretty difficult to understand — and it requires an audit of Trenton,” said Hale. “I just don’t think that’s catchy and grabby enough for people to believe that it’s going to happen.”

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The property tax issue is a high priority for most New Jersey voters, said Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison.

“Some voters are going to vote for anyone who promises to lower taxes. But I think a lot of voters are going to sit back and say, ‘Well, how specifically is this going to happen?’ Harrison said. “They’re smart enough to realize if there are tax decreases, some programs have to be cut.”

Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Peter Woolley said the property tax issue might not be enough to mean a victory for Guadagno, who has served for eight years with as Gov. Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor.

“It’s the right focus, especially for her base of Republicans,” Woolley said. “I think it’ll reach a little bit beyond, but I don’t think it’ll have the broad effect she needs to get her over the hump and to win that race.”

The election is set for Nov. 7.

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