The debate will be broadcast live from Newark on September 28 on WABC and WPVI

NEWARK, N.J. (July 29, 2021) — The first of two public debates between the Republican and Democratic candidates in the 2021 New Jersey gubernatorial race will be held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, N.J. on September 28, 2021, and broadcast lives on WABC-TV and WPVI-TV at 7:00 p.m.

“NJPAC is honored to host what promises to be an engaging and important night for all of New Jersey’s citizens,” said the Arts Center’s President and CEO John Schreiber. “This debate comes on the heels of a deadly pandemic, a renewed push for social justice, and a contentious Presidential election. Our community has much to discuss. We know that the eyes of the nation will be on New Jersey during this election, and there is no more fitting venue for this significant moment in the gubernatorial contest than NJPAC.”

New Jersey has one of only two gubernatorial elections in America this year. “Our diverse partnership team will ensure that this debate is accessible to as broad a cross-section of New Jersey voters as possible, as well as to interested Americans across the country,” Schreiber added.

NJPAC’s partners for the debate between Governor Phil Murphy (D) and former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R) include WABC-TV, WPVI, Univision41, NJ Advance Media, WHYY-FM radio, WCTC Radio, Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration. NJPAC and Evergreen Partners are producing the debate.

The debate will be sponsored by PSEG and broadcast on both ABC-owned TV stations in the New York and Philadelphia markets, Univision, WHYY radio and WCTC radio. The debate will also stream across WABC and WPVI’s streaming apps ABC7/WABC-TV New York, and 6ABC/WPVI-TV Philadelphia, respectively, and connected TV apps on streaming platforms Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Hulu. Additionally, the debate will stream on NJ Advance Media platforms and WBGO Radio in Newark will serve as a debate partner.

Hosts Sade Baderinwa of WABC, Jim Gardner of WPVI, Adriana Vargas-Sino of Univision, and NJ Advance Media reporter Amanda Hoover will moderate the debate and ask questions submitted by students, reporters, and the public.

“Hispanics make up 19% of the Garden State´s almost 9 million residents,” said Roberto Yañez, President and General Manager of Univision NY. “Informing and empowering our community is part of our core mission at Univision New York, and we are proud to provide the 1.9 million Latinos in New Jersey with an in-depth look at this year’s candidates.”

“As we did in 2017, this group of partners will provide New Jersey voters with a thoughtful, informative debate that shapes the final five weeks of the election,” said Kevin Whitmer, the lead editor at NJ Advance Media, which provides content for, The Star-Ledger and other affiliated partners. “The candidate who wins this election will become one of the most powerful governors in the United States. We hope the insight this debate provides will educate voters about both the candidates and the issues.”

“The Eagleton Institute of Politics is thrilled to be part of the committee hosting New Jersey’s first 2021 gubernatorial debate,” said John Weingart, Associate Director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers.  “As a student-focused research institute that houses the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, we look forward to helping the candidates hear what is on the minds of students and other New Jersey voters, and to giving voters the chance to assess the candidates’ responses.”

“The School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University Newark is excited to partner with NJPAC, WABC, WPVI, NJ Advance Media, and Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics in the upcoming Gubernatorial Debate,” said Charles Menifield, PhD, Dean of the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration. “As the flagship university, with the number one ranked public administration program in the state, I cannot think of a better place to host the debate than in the state’s largest city, Newark.”


New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted nearly 10 million visitors (including over 1.5 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

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