Saying that the results are preordained, Republican gubernatorial candidate Joseph Rudy Rullo has decided not to seek the Ocean County GOP organization endorsement and will run off the line in the June primary election.
Rullo alleged that the endorsement of the GOP front runner Jack Ciattarelli by Ocean Republican leader to the convention precludes his chances to win a vote in his home county.
“I’d rather spend time with my dog and family then be abused by their impartial rigged process. It’s offensive. This is why the GOP never wins statewide,” Rullo said. “I have 400,000 followers and they have zero respect. As great of an actor as I am, I can’t act like they haven’t rigged this for Jack Ciattarelli behind the scenes. They made a huge mistake.”
This is the second bid for governor by Rullo, who sough the GOP nod four years ago.
In 2017, the Ocean Republican line went to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. She carried Ocean by a 60%-20% margin over Ciattarelli, with Rullo fourth in a five-candidate race with 7% of the vote.
This year, Rullo is coming at Ciattarelli from the right, criticizing his refusal to support Donald Trump for President in 2016.
“This is exactly why year after year the NJ GOP loses statewide races.,” he said. “They pick the same old Rinos who do not excite the conservative base of party.”
Ciattarelli won a huge organizational edge for the chance to take on Gov. Phil Murphy in November after former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt withdrew from the race last month.
Former Franklin Mayor and Somerset Freeholder Brian D. Levine has said he would appear before the Ocean GOP screening committee as he mulls a bid for governor.
Perennial candidate Hirsch Singh is also in the race.