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Students weigh in on New Jersey elections

On Tuesday, voters in New Jersey will decide between incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy and his Republican challenger, Jack Ciattarelli.

Murphy is favored to win reelection, but Ciattarelli has made polling gains in recent weeks. He was just four points behind Murphy in a poll released Monday

In an interview with The Setonian last month, Ciattarelli, a Seton Hall alumnus, discussed his time in South Orange and outlined his policy goals for the state.

Ciattarelli, who previously refused to define “white privilege,” answered questions about diversity and equity.

“I think sometimes we get a little too specific in terms of one group versus another,” Ciattarelli said in response to a question about policies to serve the LGBT community. “I think we should all remind ourselves of what Martin Luther King taught my generation. Judge people by the content of their character, not by their attributes.”

While many Seton Hall students support Murphy, others said they favor Ciattarelli.

James Como, a sophomore biology major, said he approved of how Murphy handled COVID-19.

“I think he has done an excellent job handling the COVID crisis, especially relative to other states,” Como said. 

Evan VanderWeele, a sophomore accounting major said he disliked Murphy’s response to the pandemic. 

“He hasn’t really done much of anything to help the state and I felt that during COVID, we had some of the harshest laws in the country,” he said. “When New York and Philadelphia were reopening we were still locked down and that was hard to see.” 

Despite his misgivings about Murphy, VanderWeele said he was not familiar with Ciattarelli.

“I’ve only heard of Ciattarelli from his YouTube ads, so I don’t know much about him, but I feel like it will be hard to win since New Jersey has been a notoriously blue state for so long.”

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Voters on campus can utilize the new ballot box that was installed outside of Duffy Hall.

This article was written by Daniel O’Connor, who can be reached at Find him on Twitter @itsDanOConnor. Reporting was contributed by Benjamin Carranti.


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