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LD4 Republican Assembly candidate John Keating. (Photo: John Keating via Facebook).

Williamstown attorney joins crowded LD4 Republican Assembly primary

John Keating will run independently of two rival slates

By Joey Fox, March 27 2023 3:24 pm

With two rival slates already battling it out for the GOP nomination in the competitive 4th legislative district, a new candidate unaffiliated with either slate filed to run for the Assembly today: John Keating, an attorney from Williamstown.

Keating, who has never run for office before, said his campaign would focus on property taxes, learning loss in schools, and making New Jersey more business-friendly.

“I think it’s time to end one-party Democrat rule in New Jersey – it’s really been a disaster” Keating said. “I’m actually a former Democrat, believe it or not, from years back. I just think the party really got extreme, and I think a lot of the voters in the district are feeling that way.”

By throwing his hat into the ring, Keating will join a hectic primary in a once solidly Democratic district that was made substantially more competitive on the state’s new legislative map. Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Washington) is leading the effort to keep the seat in Democratic hands, while two sets of Republican challengers are running to flip it.

On one side, there’s the slate led by Gloucester County Commissioner Nicholas DeSilvio (R-Franklin), who’s running alongside Michael Clark and Denise Gonzalez. DeSilvio’s slate has the organizational line in Gloucester and Camden Counties, which make up the vast majority of the 4th district.

Opposing them is a ticket headed by former Washington Township councilman Christopher Del Borrello, running with Matt Walker and Amanda Esposito. Del Borrello and his running mates have have the line in Atlantic County, as well as support from GOP chairs in a number of other counties that aren’t part of the 4th district.

Del Borrello is also affiliated with Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer (R-Woolwich), who is waging an off-the-line Senate bid in the neighboring 3rd district; Sawyer and Del Borrello have recruited a full set of off-the-line county-level candidates in Gloucester County.

Keating’s candidacy adds a new wrinkle in the 4th district fight – though since he’s not running with any other candidates, he’ll likely have a tough time drawing as much attention and funding as the two main slates.

“I don’t know the other candidates very well, I’m sure they’re lovely people,” he said. “I just think that I’m the right person to represent the district in the Assembly.”

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