Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli isn’t worried that launching a gubernatorial bid with primaries roughly a year and a half away will cut into matched public funds his campaign will received next year.
“I think we’re planning it just right,” he said.
New Jersey provides matching public financing for gubernatorial candidates who raise or commit to spend more than $430,000 up to a cap.
Though he’ll receive matching funds for cash raised in 2020, his expenses this year will contribute towards the cap, which was $6.4 million for the gubernatorial primary in 2017 and $13.8 million for the general election that year.
Other potential candidates, like Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt, have chosen to use other spending and fundraising vehicles this early into the campaign. Money spent through a super PAC or exploratory committee won’t contribute to the public financing cap.
Still, Ciattarelli sees benefit in launching his campaign so early.
“What I learned from the last time around is you can’t declare too early if you’re running for statewide office here in New Jersey,” he said. “So I see this as the perfect runway for achieving our goals.”