Jack Ciattarelli, businessman and former assemblyman, won the Republican nomination to face Gov. Phil Murphy in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race in the fall. This is Ciattarelli’s second time to run for governor; he failed to get the GOP nomination in 2017.
Ciattarelli has heavily criticized Murphy for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, extensive borrowing and tax policies.
“I do believe he’s an extremist [Murphy]… I’m mainstream; he’s extreme,” said Ciattarelli in an interview with NJ Spotlight News.
The Murphy administration borrowed billions of dollars and raised taxes in response to the economic effects of the pandemic. But the state ended up with a record budget surplus. Ciattarelli and many Republicans have claimed the borrowing was unnecessary and pushed the state into more debt.
With this issue and his own policies, Ciattarelli said he is confident he will be able to sway Democratic voters in a very blue state.
“There may be more Democrats than Republicans but they’re not stupid,” said Ciattarelli.