Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), one of New Jersey’s most visible supporters of former President Donald Trump, today endorsed Jack Ciattarelli for the Republican nomination for governor.
“Jack is the only candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat, who understands the South Jersey and America we know and love,” Van Drew stated. “South Jersey deserves better than lip service around election time, and a governor like Jack will be a tireless fighter for everyone fortunate enough to call New Jersey home.”
This marks a net loss for Gov. Phil Murphy, who had Van Drew’s endorsement when he ran for governor four years ago, although Murphy has made his disdain for the party-switching congressman clear over the last two years.
Ciattarelli has won endorsements from all 21 New Jersey GOP county organizations, including the eight that sit in the 2nd congressional district.
“Congressman Van Drew’s focus on creating economic opportunity and fighting for a strong America and a strong South Jersey is why Jeff continues to connect with people regardless of their political affiliation,” said Ciattarelli. “I respect Jeff’s independence and willingness to always stand up for South Jersey and remain grateful to have his support. As your next governor, I will never stop being a champion of South Jersey and what is best for each of our communities.”
Ciattarelli, a former three-term assemblyman from Somerset County, has emerged as the presumptive nominee for governor. He faces Rev. Phil Rizzo, former Somerset freeholder and Franklin mayor Brian D. Levine and perennial candidate Hirsh Singh in the June 8 Republican primary for the chance to take on Murphy in the fall.