Burlington County Republicans presented a solid endorsement of Jack Ciattarelli for governor on Friday, becoming the third county to unofficially but decisively take a position in the race to pick a challenge for Gov. Phil Murphy next year.
Republican County Chairman Sean Earlen announced his support of Ciattarelli, joined by over 100 current and former GOP officials, including Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport), Assemblywoman Jeanne Stanfield (R-Westampton), former State Sen. Diane Allen, and three former Republican county chairs: Glenn Paulsen, Col. Mike Warner, and Bill Layton.
“Jack Ciattarelli knows Burlington County and he knows how to fix New Jersey,” Earlen said. “Not only will Jack take on the Nanny State in Trenton, but he has also shown us over the years that he is here to support Republicans up and down the ticket as we work to elect great candidates in our towns, on the county board of commissioners, and in the legislature.”
Ciattarelli’s support comes from 34 of the 40 Republican municipal chairs, and 12 Republicans mayors.
Among Ciattarelli’s supporters: former freeholders Linda Hughes, Joe Donnelly, Kate Gibbs, Stacey Jordan and Latham Tiver; and former assemblymen Larry Chatzidakis and Garry Nardello.
Stanfield, the former sheriff who won an Assembly seat last year, said that “Murphy’s attacks on small businesses and successful New Jerseyans drive residents out of the state.
“We need to stop the bleeding and the first step is to get behind a candidate who can unseat Phil Murphy and bring a business perspective to the State House,” Stanfield said. “I’m confident Jack Ciattarelli will lead that charge and I’m proud to support him.”
When he ran for governor in 2017, Ciattarelli had the organization line in Burlington, and carried the county by 1,400 votes, 45%-36% in his challenge to then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
Burlington has 88,067 registered Republicans,
Ciattarelli has already picked up endorsements from most of the Republican establishment in his home county, Somerset, and in Atlantic.
All three counties still need to hold their conventions, but the Ciattarelli endorsements signal no real path for those lines by his main primary opponent, former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt.
“I’m grateful for the support of so many great Republican leaders in Burlington County,” Ciattarelli said. “This is a group that understands the importance of building a grassroots army and I can’t wait to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them as we win seats locally and take back the Governor’s Office.”