2nd District Senate and Assembly Debates

Atlantic City, N.J. — The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy and The Press of Atlantic City will sponsor debates between State Senate and Assembly candidates in Legislative District 2 on Oct. 19.

Both forums will be held the same night beginning at 6 p.m. at the John F. Scarpa Academic Center, 3711 Atlantic Ave., on Stockton University’s Atlantic City campus.

The debates will be held in person and livestreamed on the Hughes Center and Press of Atlantic City websites (stockton.edu/hughescenter and pressofatlanticcity.com). A recording will be archived on the Hughes Center’s site.

Major-party candidates in each of the races have agreed to participate. Other candidates who meet minimum campaign finance thresholds and file campaign spending reports will be invited to participate.

The District 2 debates, to be held in the Fannie Lou Hamer Room, will include the following candidates.

  • At 6 p.m., Republican Sen. Vincent Polistina, an incumbent, will debate Democratic challenger Caren Fitzpatrick, currently an Atlantic County commissioner.
  • In the Assembly debate at 7 p.m., Republican incumbents Don Guardian and Claire Swift will face off against Democratic challengers Lisa Bender and Alphonso Harrell.

No other candidates qualified to participate based on standards previously published by the Hughes Center.

John Froonjian, director of the Hughes Center for Public Policy, will moderate the debates. Questions will be posed by Buzz Keough, executive editor of The Press, and Stockton student Liz Myers, editor of the student-run newspaper, The Argo.

The Press and Hughes Center will accept suggested debate questions from members of the public in advance of the event. Only the debate panelists and moderator will pose questions during the debate.

“Both the Hughes Center and The Press encourage active participation in the democratic process, and candidate debates help voters to make informed choices when they go to the polls,” Froonjian said.