As New Jersey’s gubernatorial race heads into the home stretch, the two major candidates, Republican Kim Guadagno and Democrat Phil Murphy, are gearing up for two debates in October.

During the 2016 presidential elections, people concocted a variety of ways to help make political debates more entertaining, including bingo and drinking games. Now, newsrooms in the collaborative reporting project Voting Block are offering a new way to enjoy the debates: Host a potluck with your neighbors.

As part of our Voting Block initiative, more than 20 newsrooms across the state have invited New Jerseyans to host a “Political Potluck” as a way to discuss the election with their neighbors and talk about their local priorities for the next governor. We’re including your insights into our reporting and sharing the issues you care about with the candidates ahead of the election.

Now, we’re encouraging New Jerseyans to gather around the gubernatorial debate broadcasts with some good food, good company and our conversation guide. The first debate is set to take place on Oct. 10th at 7 p.m. at New Jersey’s Performing Arts Center in Newark. A few days later, Guadagno and Murphy will face off again on Oct. 18th at 7 p.m. at William Paterson University.

You can watch the debates via NJTV or NJ Spotlight.

We’ve put together everything you need to watch and discuss the gubernatorial debates in our Political Potluck guide. And we’ve created a post-potluck survey so you can share your perspectives with our newsrooms. We’ll feature your insights with other neighborhoods across the state and in a people-powered report that we’ll deliver to the candidates.

Sign up here to host a “Political Potluck” debate watch party. We’ll send you some sweet Voting Block swag, including a lunch tote bag and spork, and follow up with you on your debate watching experience.

Have a question for the candidates? You can also send Voting Block newsrooms what you’d want to ask here. Our reporters will find answers to some of the questions and share them as a part of our Voting Block coverage.

Have any questions about using the Political Potlucks model to host a debate viewing party? Email Cristina Kim, engagement and collaborations manager at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, at

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