Four candidates will compete in the June 8 Republican primary for the chance to take on Gov. Phil Murphy in the fall.
Three other contenders – former Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine, Rev. Phil Rizzo, and perennial candidate Hirsh Singh – filed nominating petitions before today’s 4 PM deadline. They will now face the presumptive Republican nominee, former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli.
Murphy also has a primary challenge. Roger Bacon filed against him last week in his sixth bid for public office.
Ciattarelli became the clear front runner in late January when former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt withdrew from the race. He has now secured every available organization line and is the only candidate to qualify for public matching funds so far.
Primary challenges for incumbent governors are not infrequent: Gov. Chris Christie faced former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman in 2013, and Jon Corzine had three opponents in 2009.