Jack Ciattarelli, the former Assemblymember, topped New Jersey’s GOP primary for a confrontation with Governor Murphy on Tuesday. The small business founder defeated rivals who claimed the political onus of former President Trump.
Backed by the establishment, Jack Ciattarelli won over pastor Phil Rizzo, Hirsh Singh, an engineer, and Brian Levine, former mayor of Franklin. The first two were vocal Trump supporters in the campaign.
He is now up against Governor Phil Murphy, who is favored to win this year’s elections. The Governor was elected unopposed at the Democratic party primary. He is in a favorable position to end a streak since 1989 of bringing in a governor who belongs to a party, not of the President. Biden won from the state in the Presidential election by 16 percentage points.
Jack Ciattarelli has strong backing within the party and won coveted ballot positions across the state. He had made his intentions clear quite early in 2018 of taking on the Governor. He reiterated that he didn’t support Trump, even buying Trump-Pence lawn signs.
Bur Ciattarelli has signaled that he supported several of Trump’s policies that have worked for the nation.
Jack Ciattarelli Line Against Governor Murphy
Ciattarelli has attacked Governor Murphy over basic issues like the High taxes on property and his handling of the pandemic. He was also the party’s biggest fundraiser, bringing in $7M, thus qualifying for matching public funds. His rivals could not cross even the $1M figure.
He also received prime placement with the support of all the 21 county GOP organizations in New Jersey.
Representing the 16th District, Ciattarelli served in the Assembly and was elected in 2011 till 2018. He started a medical publishing company and is a trained and certified public accountant.
Governor Murphy has said in a statement that it is a choice between higher wages and an economy tuned to the wealthy and the well connected.