Passaic County is now clearly in Jack Ciattarelli’s corner after the unexpected announcement on Monday that Doug Steinhardt has dropped his bid for the Republican nomination for governor.
“While those of us in Passaic County appreciate Doug’s staunch commitment to the Republican Party, after his announcement last night, it has become overwhelming clear that Jack Ciattarelli is the best candidate to lead our party in a new direction,” said Passaic County GOP Chairman Peter Murphy. “Jack has my full support.”
Murphy’s endorsement, along with support from Senate Minority Conference Leader Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa), Passaic GOP Vice Chair Joanie Walsh and State Committeeman Matthew Conlon, gives Ciattarelli a lock on the Passaic organization line.
“Jack’s entire candidacy has been focused on one thing: defeating Phil Murphy. Like mine, Jack’s story is a New Jersey story, and our goal is to fix our broken state,” Corrado said. “We’ll make sure Phil Murphy is one and done in ’21.”
The county chairman said that Republicans need to unite completely behind Ciattarelli and remove the encumbrances of a primary from his plate so that he can concentrate on a general election.
“It is time for our party to unite and focus on winning in November. It’s also time for all of the other declared candidates to drop out. We have the opportunity to coalesce around Jack, the best candidate in this race in terms of message, energy, fundraising and infrastructure,” Murphy said. “We can and we will beat Phil Murphy, but we need to come together first. Let’s go.”
Conlon was one of the state committee members who backed Ciattarelli-allied Bob Hugin in a race for Republican State Chairman in December.
“It should come as a surprise to no one in Passaic County that Jack Ciattarelli has my unconditional support for Governor,” Conlon said. “We need a hands-on CEO, not an out-of-touch radical who wants to make New Jersey the ‘California of the East Coast,’”