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Hunterdon County Clerk Mary Melfi with GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli. (Photo: Mary Melfi via Facebook.)

Ciattarelli picks up key endorsements in Hunterdon

Melfi, Brown, four GOP freeholders endorse Ciattarelli for governor

By David Wildstein, December 31 2020 9:03 am

Six county elected officials from Hunterdon County have endorsed Jack Ciattarelli for governor, a move that sends a strong signal that he has a substantial edge in his bid to win the organization line there next year.

County Clerk Mary Melfi, Sheriff Fred Brown, and four of the five GOP freeholders: Shaun Van Doren, Susan Soloway, Matt Holt and John Lanza.

Lanza will serve as Ciattarelli’s Hunterdon County campaign coordinator.

“Jack is exactly the kind of person we need leading our state and our party. As an accomplished public servant, he knows how to reform government, so it works for the people, not the other way around,” said Melfi, the three-term county clerk.  “He will bring a special quality to the state that other gubernatorial candidates do not – and that is the ability to listen to his constituents.”

Ciattarelli had represented part of Hunterdon County as an assemblyman for six years and won their organization line when he ran for governor in 2017.  He carried the county by 1,177 votes, 46%-34% against then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

“Jack is a proven leader who will bring conservative solutions to our state’s most pressing problems,” Brown said.  “He’ll stand with law enforcement and law-abiding citizens against Trenton politicians increasingly out-of-touch with the people they are supposed to represent.”

Ciattarelli has won significant endorsements in Atlantic, Burlington and his home county of Somerset – enough to make him the odds-on favorite to win organization lines there in his primary race against former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt.

In Morris County, Ciattarelli has picked up support from Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-Denville), five freeholders and County Clerk Ann Grossi.  He’s also got the backing of 17 GOP mayors.

Morris is moving to establish an organization line for the first time, creating an early contest for support between Ciattarelli and Steinhardt.

Steinhardt has locked up his home county, Warren.

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