Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli has raised more than $1 million for his bid to challenge Gov. Phil Murphy,
Ciattarelli unofficially qualified for state matching funds by the end of September, raising $818,527 during the first nine months of 2020. Two weeks after that, he had brought in an additional $35,000.
That sets up Ciattarelli to receive at least $1.7 million in public financing from the state next month.
The former Republican assemblyman from Somerset County entered the race in January, giving him a fundraising edge over his rival for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, Doug Steinhardt.
Steinhardt filed corporation papers to run for governor on Wednesday and will announce his bid soon.
“Despite a pandemic that limited in-person events and a respectful deference to our GOP congressional candidates on the ballot throughout 2020, we’ve hit our goals,” said Jeff Vanderbeek, the owner of the New Jersey Devils and Ciattarelli’s finance chairman. “With the pending state match, we are very well-positioned to begin 2021 just as we did 2020 – as the frontrunner in this race and the only Republican candidate who can defeat Phil Murphy, fix our state, and revitalize the NJGOP.”
In June, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission raised the maximum contribution limit for a gubernatorial candidate from $4,300 to $4,900, increased the threshold to qualify for matching funds from $430,000 to $490,000, and upped he amount not matched from $138,000 to $156,000.
“The energy on the ground to defeat Phil Murphy is building by the day and New Jersey Republicans are eager to start winning again,” said Ciattarelli. “Not only am I running to fix New Jersey and make sure Phil Murphy is ‘one and done in ‘21’, but I am committed to rebuilding the NJGOP into a party of commonsense conservative ideas and solutions that can help us compete for a majority in the legislature, take back lost counties, win congressional seats again, and grow our party with working families, minorities, women, and young people in every corner of our great state.”