Statewide town hall set for gubernatorial candidates

Statewide town hall set for gubernatorial candidates

By ALAN GUENTHER, Courier-Post Staff

TRENTON--New Jersey residents will have a chance to question the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor on live television and radio in an unprecedented statewide Town Hall Meeting Oct. 18.

Democrat Jim McGreevey and Republican Bret Schundler will be on stage at Rowan University in Glassboro. The audience there will be linked via satellite to audiences at Monmouth University in West Long Branch and the CN8 Comcast TV studio in Union Township.

The hour-long, 8 p.m. broadcast is sponsored by the seven daily Gannett New Jersey newspapers, N.J. 101.5 FM radio and Comcast Cable's CN8 network.

"We're proud to sponsor an event that offers residents a chance to directly question the future chief executive of New Jersey. Town meetings are a tradition here," Robert T. Collins, president of the Gannett New Jersey Newspaper Group, said Thursday.

Every effort will be made to include as many questions as possible in the broadcast, Collins said. Town Hall sponsors will forward questions that don't get on the air to candidates for follow-up.

William C. "Skip" Hidlay, executive editor of the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, stressed the importance of the event.

"Although people may not be focused on state politics right now, the Nov. 6 election will determine who will lead this state for the next four years. That job is going to be considerably harder than it would have been were it not for the tragic events of Sept. 11. The people have a right and an obligation to find out where these candidates stand," Hidlay said. State residents who want to participate in the one-hour broadcast must sign up in advance. They should submit their name, question, party affiliation, address and daytime telephone number no later than Oct. 4.

By e-mail, they can respond to townhallcourierpostonline. com. Or they can leave a telephone message by calling (856) 486-2652. The mail address is Town Hall Meeting, Courier- Post, P.O. Box 5300, Cherry Hill 08034.

"The sheer media reach of this event, coupled with New Jersey residents participating live in-studio from the northern, central and southern parts of the state, make this a first in New Jersey gubernatorial races," said Robert McAllan, chief executive officer of Press Communications LLC, owner of N.J. 101.5 FM radio.

"Two million New Jersey cable viewers, 1.9 million readers, and nearly 1 million radio listeners will have a front-row seat" for the governor's race, McAllan said.

Michael Doyle, president of Comcast Cable's eastern division, said the event would be unique.

"This Garden State first underscores Comcast's commitment to our neighbors and millions of customers in New Jersey," said Doyle. "The combined media force of CN8, Gannett and N. J. 101.5 FM will deliver New Jerseyans unprecedented access and a live, direct connection to the state's political leadership."

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Date Published: Friday, September 21, 2001 - 10:43
Source URL: Courier-Post