Republican Jack Ciattarelli delivered his stump speech to a warmly receptive crowd — more than 80 reliably red Ocean County residents who gathered for a town hall campaign stop in Jackson on Wednesday night. During the Q&A, voters probed the candidate for governor on his conservative credentials, weighing his Republican bona fides on hot-button issues like critical race theory and sanctuary states.
In a blue state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 1 million voters, Ciattarelli is walking a political knife edge. Polls put him nine to 13 points behind Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat. The challenger needs crossover votes but must hold his base.