Gov. Phil Murphy slapped Rik Mehta over the Republican U.S. Senate candidate’s belief that there was no need to quarantine after taking part in a Bedminster fundraiser attended by President Donald Trump, who has tested positive for COVID-19 along with a host of top aides and advisors.
“I don’t even know who Rik Mehta is, but I saw that he said that. I think, literally — and I don’t think this is the first statement he has made that I would say this — I think that statement should disqualify him from seeking public office,” Murphy said.
Mehta is challenging U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. The race heavily favors Democrats, who have not lost a contest for U.S. Senate in the Garden State since Sen. Clifford Case (R-Rahway) last won re-election in 1972.
The Republican candidate said he was confident he had not been exposed to the virus.
“To be honest with you, there’s no concerns for my end, whatsoever,” he told the Associated Press. “All social distancing was followed. There’s no need for fear mongering in this area. We feel confident about no exposures and just fine. We were 30, 40 feet away. I’ve gotten a lot of questions on whether I’ll quarantine, and my response is why would I?”