N.J. gubernatorial candidates make final plea to voters for Tuesday’s primary

 New Jersey state capitol building in Trenton. (NewsWorks file photo)

New Jersey state capitol building in Trenton. (NewsWorks file photo)

Candidates hoping to succeed Gov. Chris Christie in the New Jersey State House offered some of their final campaign pitches to voters this weekend, ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.

Both candidates locked in the race for the Republican nomination — Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli — held packed schedules Sunday.

Starting her day at a Medford church service, Guadagno later traveled north for events including a wine and cheese social and the Hasbrouck Heights Street Fair. Ciattarelli, who also attended the fair, went to four different Garden State diners.

A Stockton University poll released last week showed Guadagno leading Ciattarelli by 19 percentage points in a race much tighter than the Democrats.

But the Democratic candidates also held forth Sunday, in a final bid to residents.

Presumed front-runner Phil Murphy hosted a rally at a Paterson church. Assemblyman John Wisniewski visited a Polish festival and appeared at a health care rally. And attorney Jim Johnson met with voters in Newark and Jersey City.

In place of in-person get-out-the-vote event, State Sen. Ray Lesniak held a Facebook Live on Sunday, answering questions from online audience members, touting his record on environmental and animal rights issues, and even taking a shot at one of his Democratic rivals.

“Phil Murphy says he has your back,” Lesniak said. “When has he ever done anything to have your back?”

Throughout the campaign, Republicans have argued about how to lower the state’s notoriously high property taxes, while Democrats have largely focused on fully funding the state’s public pension system and school funding formula.

Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday.  WHYY FM will have live election updates through the evening. You can watch real-time voter results here online.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.