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Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas, left, with GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli, center, and former Somerset GOP Chairman Al Gaburo, at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce 2018 Chamber Challenge Cup. (Photo: PPAG.)

Ciattarelli gets Essex GOP line

By David Wildstein, February 17 2021 12:48 pm

Essex County Republicans voted unanimously last night to award their organization line to Jack Ciattarelli in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

“This election presents a unique opportunity for Republicans to have our ticket led by a problem-solver who will not only win in November but help Republican candidates down ballot throughout our county and State,” said Essex County GOP Chairman Al Barlas.  “We are excited about our chances on Election Day with Jack Ciattarelli at the top of our ticket.”

This marks the second time Barlas has backed Ciattarelli, a former assemblyman from Somerset County who wants to take on Gov. Phil Murphy in the November general election.

In 2017, Essex Republicans supported Ciattarelli in the primary against then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.  He carried Essex by a 43%-29% margin.

Barlas personally endorsed Ciattarelli in January, immediately following Doug Steinhardt’s announcement that he had dropped his gubernatorial bid.

Ciattarelli is the presumptive Republican challenger against Murphy.   He faces primary challenges from former Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine, social media consultant Joseph Rudy Rullo, clergyman Phil Rizzo, and perennial candidate Hirsh Singh.

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