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New Jersey Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt.

Steinhardt: No timeline on gubernatorial decision

State GOP chair focused on 2020

By Nikita Biryukov, January 13 2020 3:54 pm

Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt doesn’t have timeline for when he’ll make his decision on a gubernatorial run in 2021.

“I have no timeline whatsoever because I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t know where I’m going,” Steinhardt said, referring to a run for governor. “As I said, we’ve got the president coming in two weeks. We’ve got our third summit on March 6th and 7th. We’ve got petitions to get filed for the RNC convention in August. We’ve got a redistricting committee to make sure that’s up and operating.”

Steinhardt, who has now headed the state GOP for two years, has been floated as a potential challenger to Gov. Phil Murphy for much of the last year.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden have also flirted with runs.

Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is set to official announce his gubernatorial bid on Jan. 21, though he has previously said he was running for the seat.

Steinhardt, who frequently circumnavigates the state, has been far more reserved about his own interest in the seat.

“In ’18, the focus was on 2018. In ’19, the focus was on winning back legislative seats,” he said. “It’s now 2020. I’m laser focused on redistricting, on making sure we pick up some of the congressional seats that we lost, and where that takes me, where that leads, is going to be largely dependent on how hard I work, how we treat other people and the job that I do.”

Still, he’s not ruling out a bid against Murphy.

“I’m going to just continue to do that job the best I can,” Steinhardt said. “And respectfully, if it opens doors, fine. If it doesn’t, that’s fine too.”

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