Political Experts Weigh In on NJ's 2017 Gubernatorial Race
Matthew Hale, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Department of Political Science & Public Affairs at Seton Hall University and Max Pizarro, Editor at InsiderNJ.com, share their perspectives on New Jersey’s gubernatorial candidates and share the top three issues they believe voters will focus on this year.
"State of Affairs welcomes our good friend Matt Hale, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Seton Hall University. And back here in the studio on NJTV, Max Pizarro, Editor of Insider NJ.com. This is a new site? Yes it is. Which is all about what? It's all about New Jersey politics Steve. Good to have you guys on the premiere edition of State of Affairs. You were actually in the other room listening to Ambassador Murphy, one of many candidates who will be running for governor, talking to us. Biggest takeaway for you from that discussion? I think that Phil Murphy has the confidence of a front runner right now Steve. He's in a very good spot and so he is just in a very prime position to win the Democratic primary. He seems at ease with himself. And on the substance of the issues as I said before during the break that we really try to focus on, on the issues, what does it say as to where his focus is Matt? I think Murphy's made his case right now is that he's focused on the middle class. He's focused on the people who seem to be struggling in New Jersey and so he's going to do a lot of things that sort of appeal to those folks. That can mean things like he may try and raise taxes on the rich so that they can help pay for more things for the middle class. I'm not sure he's quite ready to say that yet, but I think that might be where he's headed. Because we try to be very issue oriented, I'm curious about this. If we're trying to get a sense of where most voters are and what they care about and how they'll make a decision about who will succeed Chris Christie as governor by taking over in 2018 but in getting elected in November, 2017, Max, let me ask you... Top three issues? I think public safety for many people. Define that. I think property taxes. Define public safety. Well, I think people want to be able to walk out their front door onto the street and not worry about violence and I think we're living in very volatile times, certainly in many of our urban areas. Children going to school have grave worries. I think that public safety issue in conjunction with property taxes for so many people... and the two issues are related in more ways than one. I think that certainly schools account for 60% of most people's property taxes and our property taxes are exorbitant. Pardon me for interrupting, Max. So the schools..."