New Jersey

Deadline Day for Democrats, Republicans Wanting to Be New Jersey Governor

Potential candidates reaching deadline to enter governor's race to replace Gov. Chris Christie

The clock is about to run out on Democrats and Republicans thinking of jumping into this year's primary race for governor.

Monday marks the deadline for those candidates to file petitions to run. The primary is set for June 6.

It's hardly just the start of the primary, though.

Hopefuls have been competing in the race since as early as May, county political organizations have handed out the influential party line, which determines a candidate's ballot position, and cash has long been flowing into campaign coffers.

On the Democratic side, wealthy former Obama administration ambassador Phil Murphy is leading in polls, has key establishment and interest group support and is self-funding. Among the other Democrats running are former Clinton administration Treasury official Jim Johnson, state Sen. Ray Lesniak and Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

Johnson has qualified for public matching funds and has received about $900,000. Murphy has pledged to spend $10 million of his own cash in the race.

Among Republicans, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is leading in polls. Also running are Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers.


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Guadagno has received more than $800,000 in public matching funds. Ciattarelli announced he recently reached the $430,000 fundraising threshold to qualify for the funds as well.

Two Democratic and two Republican debates are expected in the contest, but dates have not been set.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie is term limited and set to leave office when his second administration ends in January.

Independent candidates seeking to get into the race have until June 6 to collect the needed signatures and file paperwork to run.

The state's primaries are closed, meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans may vote in each party's contest. The voter registration deadline for the primary is May 16.

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