ATLANTIC CITY — Assembly candidates in New Jersey’s 2nd Legislative District will debate Oct. 23 at Stockton University’s city campus, and members of the public are encouraged to submit questions for the candidates.

The debate, sponsored by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton and The Press of Atlantic City, is free and open to the public. It will start at 6 p.m. in the Fannie Lou Hamer Room of the Stockton Academic Center, 3711 Atlantic Ave.

John Froonjian, interim executive director of the Hughes Center, will moderate the debate. A representative of The Press will serve as a panelist.

Participating candidates are Assembly incumbents Vincent Mazzeo and John Armato, both Democrats; and Republican challengers Atlantic County Freeholder John Risley and Philip Guenther, a former Brigantine mayor.

The 2nd District covers most of Atlantic County.

To propose questions that may be asked of the candidates, email or by midnight Oct. 15. Include in the subject line: “2nd District debate question.”

For decades, some of the most competitive — and expensive — legislative races in New Jersey have been in the 2nd District. Voters here don’t simply vote the party line, Froonjian said.

“In most New Jersey districts, one party controls both the Senate and Assembly seats for years at a time. Legislative representation in the 2nd District has been split between Democrats and Republicans in 10 of the last 15 legislative terms,” Froonjian said. “That split reflects the competitive nature of the district.”

Froonjian said candidate debates allow voters to evaluate the candidates’ positions and leadership qualities, providing valuable information on which voters can make informed choices.

“We’re thrilled to once again partner with Stockton University on this vital part of the electoral process as part of our election coverage,” said W.F. “Buzz” Keough, executive editor of The Press.

Partisan campaigning is not allowed on state property, so attendees will not be admitted with campaign signs, hats, buttons, T-shirts or any materials with election messages.

Contact: 609-272-7219

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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