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Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Somerset goes big for Ciattarelli

GOP gubernatorial candidate gets 87 endorsements from home county Republicans

By David Wildstein, December 01 2020 3:46 pm

Somerset County is all in for favorite son Jack Ciattarelli, who picked up endorsements today from 87 Republican officials for his bid to become the GOP nominee for Governor of New Jersey next year.

Ciattarelli was endorsed on Tuesday by Republican County Chairman Tim Howes, State Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg), and former Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco.

The former Somerset assemblyman also garnered the backing of 19 of the county’s 21 Republican municipal chairs.  Local chairs in Bernards and Bridgewater were not included in the endorsement list.

Republican State Committeeman Al Gaburo, who retired as county chairman earlier this year, has endorsed Ciattarelli.  That’s not surprising, since Gaburo is one of Ciattarelli’s top strategists.

Nine GOP mayors endorsed Ciattarelli, along with two outgoing countywide election officials: Surrogate Frank Bruno and Freeholder Brian Gallagher.   He also has the backing of GOP vice chair Pat Walsh, a former freeholder.

“Here in Somerset, we know Jack” said Howes. “We’ve seen him start two successful Main Street businesses, create jobs, raise his family, fight for his community, and deliver on his promises to cut taxes at the state, county, and local level.”

Ciattarelli is the front runner for the nod to take on Gov. Phil Murphy.  So far, only perennial candidate Hirsh Singh has formally entered the race.

Two other candidates, GOP State Chairman Doug Steinhardt and Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, are considering gubernatorial bids.

“It doesn’t get more Jersey than Jack,” Gaburo said. “I’m proud to support him for Governor and excited to have a conservative candidate like him fighting for everyday New Jerseyans.”

Ciattarelli swamped Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in his home county when he ran for governor in 2017.   He took Somerset by 4,356 votes, 57% to 26%.

Guadagno won that primary, 47% to 31%, but lost the general election to Murphy by a 14-point margin.

Ciattarelli also beat out Guadagno for the organization lines in Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer and Union counties.

Correction: An earlier version of this story did not include two municipal chair endorsements. 

Ciattarelli somerset endorsements Dec2020
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