TRENTON – Tuesday’s debate on the candidates for lieutenant governor was a civil sitting, in stark contrast to the debate for governor last week. But that didn’t mean Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Republican challenger Diane Allen agreed – far from it.
In a hectic hour-long meeting on the Rider University campus, organized as a condition for campaigns to receive $ 2 for $ 1 in public funding under state law, the former president Assembly and former Republican state senator have voiced differences over guns, abortion, the pandemic and more.
Allen said everything in the state’s gun laws needs to be overhauled, including concealed carrying, because the country’s toughest gun laws don’t make a difference to guns. illegal.
“And we actually have a Second Amendment in the Constitution that says you have the right to bear guns,” Allen said, defending votes against certain gun control measures. “And if you say, ‘Well, you can’t use any gun that has X, Y, or Z any more,’ then pretty quickly you’re taking all the guns away from the people.”
Oliver said that “gun violence is out of control” but this covert porterage is bad for New Jersey.
“Why the hell would we have a law in New Jersey that would allow me to walk into Starbucks or McDonald’s, and the guy next to me has a gun?” said Olivier.
Some topics that were only mentioned in passing during the first debate between Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli were explored at the running mate’s meeting, such as the performance of the Motor Vehicle Commission during the pandemic.
The MVC and its frequent lines and shutdowns were a major source of frustration for residents, but Oliver said his management had done what they could to prevent agencies from becoming virus super-diffusers.
“Sue Fulton was hit like a blame with something called COVID-19, ”Oliver said.
Allen said Gov. Phil Murphy is slow to take action when problems arise, seemingly unable to handle the confrontation.
“Why weren’t we organized so that if they had to go home, they could work from home? Because that’s what so many other companies have done, ”Allen said. “But instead, they just shut it down.”
Even when the candidates share commonalities, such as abortion rights and vaccines, they found areas of disagreement.
Allen was asked about vaccines in the context of Ciattarelli saying during debate last week that he didn’t think the government could require someone to take medication. She said she supported the current vaccine requirements for schoolchildren – but that there must be flexibility on how they are made, understood by a parent and their doctor.
“My son almost died from a shot of the vaccine, an MMR shot, when he was a child. We didn’t know if he would survive it. He did, and we continued with his vaccines, but it was over a much longer period and a lot less product each time he got vaccinated, ”said Allen, who said the same approach had continued with her four grandchildren.
But the Republican post criticized the COVID vaccine requirements, prompting Oliver to call it healthcare hypocrisy.
“Jack and Diane think the government shouldn’t force vaccination, but conversely, they think the government should tell a woman whether or not she should have a child,” Oliver said.
Allen generally supports abortion rights, but said the legislature’s pending reproductive freedom bill goes too far and would lead to third trimester terminations. Oliver said she expects the bill to be passed by the Legislature after the election.
None of the candidates made major mistakes or made a memorable argument that will change the course of the campaign.
Murphy and Ciattarelli will meet next Tuesday for the campaign’s final debate, which will be held at 8 p.m. at Rowan University and air on public television, now called NJ PBS.
Michael Symons is the State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].
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