Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli will close out his Monday campaign schedule in Raritan, where he grew up and where he began his political career as a borough councilman
Ciattarelli will address his old hometown at a statue of Raritan’s most eminent resident, John Basilone, a Marine sergeant killed during the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II and the recipient of the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.
The Ciattarelli family home on West Somerset Street was within sight of the Basilone statue, and not far from where his parents ran a bar. The Ciattarelli’s and the Basilone’s played baseball together in an integrated league in the 1930s.
He has stops scheduled on Monday in Waldwick, Ridgewood, Clifton, Old Bridge, Carteret, Middletown, and Neptune.
Ciattarelli was 27-years-old when he won his 1989 council race on his second try. He was the top vote-getter in that race, running about 150 votes ahead of Democrat John Lamaestra, the council president, and about 250 votes in front of Democrat Mark Pellechio, a former councilman. Ciattarelli had lost in 1988 by about 100 votes to a Democrat named Van Van Houten.
The event in Raritan comes 285 days after Ciattarelli launched his bid for the Republican nomination for governor at the John F. Kennedy School.