Former Republican congressional candidate David Richter has endorsed Jack Ciattarelli for governor.
“I’m fully supportive of Jack Ciattarelli,” said Richter, the former Hill International CEO who ran against Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) in 2020.
Richter quickly dismissed speculation that he might run for governor following the withdrawal of Doug Steinhardt from the race on Monday.
“I’m flattered that people thought of me,” he said. “I have some fans on Facebook.”
Ciattarelli is now the clear front-runner for the chance to take on Gov. Phil Murphy in the general election. He faces businessman Joseph Rudy Rullo and perennial candidate Hirsh Singh.
Brian D. Levine, a former Franklin mayor and Somerset County Freeholder, announced an exploratory committee on January 1 and says he’ll decide about running this week.
Former Gov. Chris Christie and some of his allies have been trying to recruit a candidate to run against Ciattarelli but have so far been unsuccessful.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, who opted not to run last year, reaffirmed his decision to run for the legislature in 2021 following Steinhardt’s decision to exit the race.
Time is running out for a new candidate: the filing deadline to compete for the Republican organization line in Ocean County, the top vote-producing GOP county in the state, is on Saturday.