The four candidates for N.J. Assembly in the 2nd District will share a stage at the Dante Hall Theater as they face off in another debate in one of the state’s most competitive races of the year.
Incumbent Assemblyman Chris Brown and Atlantic County freeholder Will Pauls, both Republicans, are opposing incumbent Democratic Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo and Atlantic County freeholder Colin Bell.
The 2nd District covers parts of Atlantic County, including the economically distressed Atlantic City.
“My father was a day-one casino employee. Worked there … my entire life until he retired in February. He put food on our table, a roof over our heads,” said Bell during a debate on NJTV.
“So I understand how devastating it would be to our area if we had a casino up north, which would take jobs away from Atlantic County residents.”
All four candidates have stated their opposition to any casino gaming in North Jersey.
Another issue in the race is a part of the race itself: outside spending.
General Majority, a political action committee, has reportedly spent more than $1 million on behalf of Democrats in state Assembly races this year.
During the same debate on NJTV, Republican Pauls said voters have a right to know about outside spending in the race.
“When you have outside money like that coming in at a million, two million for an Assembly race in the 2nd District, I think they should know that,” Pauls said. “I think they should know where the money’s coming from.”
The debate, sponsored by Stockton University, will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. It will also be live-streamed on the website of the Press of Atlantic City.
Daniel J. Douglas, director of Stockton’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, will moderate.