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2nd District Congressional Debate Set for October 8

The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University and NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, will co-sponsor a live debate between 2nd Congressional District candidates, Democrat challenger Amy Kennedy and Republican incumbent Jeff Van Drew, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8.

The debate, televised from the Fannie Lou Hamer Event Room at the Stockton Atlantic City campus, will be aired live on NJTV (check local listings). NJTV will also stream the event on its news division site at, its NJ Spotlight News YouTube Channel, as well as its social media accounts; in addition, Stockton will stream the debate on the Hughes Center website.

John Froonjian, executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton, will moderate the debate. Panelists NJTV News Anchor Briana Vannozzi, NJTV News Sr. Correspondent David Cruz and NJ Spotlight Editor-at-large Colleen O’Dea will pose questions to the candidates. After the debate, NJTV News Anchor & Correspondent Michael Hill will moderate post-debate analysis discussion with NJTV’s Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron.

“The Hughes Center applauds NJTV and NJ Spotlight for helping to provide a true public service to the voters of the 2nd District,” Froonjian said. “This race offers a clear choice and has serious local and national implications. Debates like this allow voters an up-close opportunity to evaluate the candidates.”

“Only public television would showcase a political event like this in primetime and across multi-platform channels so all of New Jersey can learn more about these candidates during this critical election,” said NJTV Senior Managing Editor Jamie Kraft. “This debate will be ‘must-see’ TV, and is a cornerstone of NJTV’s ongoing, comprehensive election season coverage.”

The 2nd District Congressional race in southern New Jersey is considered one of the most competitive in the country.

Van Drew is completing his first term as a U.S. Congressman after serving for years in local and state government as a moderate Democrat. He made national news in December 2019 when he switched parties from Democrat to Republican. He recently spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Amy Kennedy is a former teacher and mental health advocate who is running for office for the first time. She is married to former U.S. Congressman from Rhode Island Patrick J. Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

This event will not have public attendees.