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New Jersey’s two leading party candidates for lieutenant governor this year will meet on Tuesday in their only debate.


Democratic Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver will meet Republican Diane Allen, a former state senator, at 7 p.m. in a debate sponsored by the nonprofit social justice organization Project Reed and Rider University’s Rebovich Institute of New Jersey Politics.

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Oliver was elected in 2017 along with Gov. Phil Murphy and is seeking a second term as his lieutenant. Allen is running alongside former Assemblyman Jack Ciatarelli.

Voters are voting for Murphy and Oliver together as tickets, and Sitarelli and Allen together, as well. The election is November 2, but mail-in ballots are already being returned to county offices. Early individual voting is scheduled for October 23-31 for the first time this year.

Oliver serves as the head of New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs in his capacity as the state’s No. 2 leader. The department is responsible, among other things, for providing financial and technical assistance to the local governments in the state. He served as the speaker in the state assembly from 2010-2014 before becoming the lieutenant governor.

Allen served in the Assembly in 1996 before being elected to the State Senate in 1996. He served there until 2017, representing parts of Burlington County. She was a news anchor on Philadelphia television in the 1970s into the 1990s, with stints on KYW. and WCAU.

No Democrat has won re-election in New Jersey in four decades, but polls show Murphy with an edge over Ciatarrelli.

If Ciatarelli and Allen win in November, Allen will be the state’s third lieutenant governor, following Oliver before him and Republican Kim Guadagno.