Stockton University to Host Republican, Democratic Primary Debates for 2017 Gubernatorial Election

Political Debate

For Immediate Release;  

Contact:         Christina Butterfield
                        News and Media Relations
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 626-3845

Galloway, NJ – Stockton University has been selected to host one Republican and one Democratic primary debate during this year’s New Jersey gubernatorial election cycle.

The university’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy applied to the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) to host a gubernatorial primary debate on Stockton’s main campus, located at 101 Vera King Farris Drive in Galloway, N.J.

“Since its founding, Stockton has emphasized the importance of political education and dialogue, the role of civic activism and voters’ rights and responsibilities,” said President Harvey Kesselman. “The Hughes Center’s stated mission is ‘to enable the citizens of southern New Jersey to connect with their leaders on the local, state and national levels.’ Holding two primary debates here will provide residents with an exceptional opportunity to assess the candidates for themselves, which fits into the university’s commitment to promoting engaged citizenship and helping democracy to thrive.”

NJTV in Newark and Ocean County College in Toms River also applied to host the debates, which must occur between April 13 and May 23, according to ELEC. The gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 7.

The primary debates will be held in the university’s Campus Center Theatre, which seats 254 and boasts state-of-the-art technical equipment. Overflow will be available in the adjacent Campus Center Event Room, which can seat up to 500 additional community members.

Stockton will also live-stream the debate using Facebook Live.  

“Stockton is a public institution that is inherently dedicated to civic and political engagement, and the Hughes Center has made hosting debates part of its mission in its nine years of existence,” said Sharon Schulman, executive director of the center.

“Hosting the primary debates at Stockton University is a way for the people of South Jersey to hear what our future policy makers have to say,” Schulman continued. “The debates will also serve as an opportunity for the candidates to reach the southern region of our state.”

Previously, Stockton University has hosted several debates including legislative, congressional and senatorial debates.

Most recently, the Hughes Center sponsored a District 2 legislative debate with Republican Assemblyman Chris Brown and running mate Freeholder Will Pauls and Democratic Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo and running mate Freeholder Colin Bell.

About the Hughes Center

The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University serves as a catalyst for research, analysis and innovative policy solutions on the economic, social and cultural issues facing New Jersey, and promotes the civic life of New Jersey through engagement, education and research. The center is named for William J. Hughes, whose distinguished career includes service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ambassador to Panama and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockton. The Hughes Center can be found on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter @hughescenter. 


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