Criticism continues to mount over an incident involving gubernatorial candidate Hirsh Singh’s campaign manager and the wife of another candidate, Jack Ciattarelli.
While she was watching her husband debate Singh on Tuesday, Melinda Ciattarelli found herself ambushed by King Penna and a videographer inside the New Jersey 101.5 studio. Penna castigated one of Ciattarelli’s sons, who serves in the U.S. Army, for still living at home.
That brought harsh words from Assemblyman Brian Peters ((R-Hainesport), a U.S. Navy SEAL team commander.
“Newsflash, this is what people who serve in the military have to do. I have a charge for Singh and his team – drop out, now,” Peters said. “It’s clear your campaign has completely lost its mind. You are an embarrassment to New Jersey and our country.”
Another veteran also bashed Penna’s behavior and told Singh to fire him.
“As a Marine Corps veteran I was appalled by the shameful attack of Hirsh Singh’s campaign manager on Jack’s Ciattarelli’s son who is serving our country in the Army,” said John Krickus, a Morris County Commissioner. “Mr. Singh needs to immediately fire Mr. Penna and profusely apologize to Melinda Ciattarelli for this confrontation.
So far, Singh has not publicly commented on the incident.
“Those of us who have served know that our family members also serve, and the parents of a son in the military deserve respect, not ridicule,” Krickus stated. “Attacking the mother of a service member is even more outrageous as we are about to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day weekend.”
But not every Republican is taking Ciattarelli’s side.
“I viewed the tape and Mrs. Ciattarelli was clearly the antagonist,” said former Toms River Republican Club President Geri Ambrosio. “Quite frankly I was surprised at her behavior which I think was unbecoming of someone who wants to be the First Lady of New Jersey.”
Ambrosio is seeking the Republican nomination for State Assembly in the 10th legislative district, running on a line with Singh.