Home>Campaigns>Ciattarelli says he’ll run for governor in 2025

Republican Jack Ciattarelli concedes his narrow loss in the New Jersey governor's race on November 12, 2021. He's joined by the GOP candidate for Lt. Governor, Diane Allen.

Ciattarelli says he’ll run for governor in 2025

By David Wildstein, November 12 2021 1:25 pm

Jack Ciattarelli announced that he will run for governor in 2025.

“That is exactly my plan.  I’ll be running for governor in four years,” he said as he conceded his defeat in the 2021 governor’s race.

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Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy will be term-limited in four years, creating an open seat race for the governorship.

It’s been 60 years since Democrats won three consecutive gubernatorial elections.  In that race, former Superior Court Judge Richard J. Hughes scored a come-from-behind victory against Republican James Mitchell, the former U.S. Secretary of Labor, in a bid to succeed retiring two-term Democratic Gov. Robert Meyner.

This would be Ciattarelli’s third race for governor.  He sought the GOP nomination in 2017 and nearly unseated Murphy in the November 2 general election, despite a state that has more than one million more Democrats than Republicans.

Democrat Jim Florio was elected governor in 1989 on his third try.  Others, including Republicans Charles Sandman and Wayne Dumont, ran for governor three times without success.

It’s not clear who Ciattarelli might face in a 2025 Republican primary.  His opponent for the GOP nomination last June, Phil Rizzo, has already begun taking steps to run again.  Former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt, who briefly ran this cycle but dropped out in January, is also a potential candidate.

Ciattarelli eschewed any interest in running for any other office, including the U.S. Senate.

“I have no interest in going to Washington,” he said.  “New Jersey is my home.  I want to fix New Jersey. “

In the 1961 race, Mitchell was the heavy favorite to win the general election against Hughes, who was virtually unknown to Democrats  He was a compromise candidate among Democratic party leaders after the early front runner, former Attorney General Grover Richman dropped out in February after suffering a heart attack.

The Mitchell campaign suffered a serious setback in September when the candidate broke his leg and took him off the campaign trial for several weeks to recuperate following surgery.  In the days before television commercials and social media, retail campaigning had an outsized importance.

He completed the campaign on crutches, but the injury helped Hughes, a strong campaigner, take the lead.

Hughes defeated Mitchell by 34,920 votes statewide, 50.3%-48.7%.

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