Murphy, Guadagno face off in N.J.’s first gubernatorial debate

Democratic nominee Phil Murphy, left, and Republican nominee Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, right, participates in a gubernatorial debate at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, Pool)

Democratic nominee Phil Murphy, left, and Republican nominee Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, right, participates in a gubernatorial debate at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, Pool)

Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno sparred over property taxes and campaign donations in the first debate of their campaign to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

The candidates debated Tuesday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark ahead of the Nov. 7 election.

Murphy is a wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive. He did not directly answer whether he would support renewing an expiring 2 percent cap on what some police and fire officials can get in labor contract disputes.

Guadagno favors extending the cap. She cites a report released by the Christie administration that said the cap saved taxpayers nearly $3 billion.

Campaign donations

Responding to a question about whether Murphy took donations from the disgraced movie mogulHarvey Weinstein, the Democrat says he didn’t ask for or get a “dime” from him. But his Republican opponent Guadagno has called him a “coward” for failing address Weinstein until after her campaign raised the issue on Tuesday. Murphy called on Democrats to return any contributions from Weinstein, who’s accused of sexually harassing or assaulting a dozen women.

Christie cannot seek a third term because of term limits.

The debate was aired on WHYY-FM and 6ABC for South Jersey residents. It was also streamed on Twitter .

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