Republican says he plans to run for NJ governor in 2021

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(News 12 New Jersey) In this file photo, then-Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli announces a 2017 run for New Jersey governor. He came in second in the Republican primary to former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who lost to Phil Murphy in November 2017. (News 12 New Jersey) In this file photo, then-Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli announces a 2017 run for New Jersey governor. He came in second in the Republican primary to former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who lost to Phil Murphy in November 2017.

By MICHAEL CATALINI
Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has been in office for only about a month and already a former Republican lawmaker says he's planning to challenge him in 2021.

Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli left office last year after a failed run in the GOP gubernatorial primary. He told the Associated Press Tuesday that "if asked today, I'm running." Murphy's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ciattarelli is a certified public accountant who owns a medical publishing company. He served in the Assembly from 2012 until this year. He came in second in last year's Republican primary to former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who lost to Murphy in November.

He says he wants to run to address the state's biggest problems - property taxes, school funding and transportation.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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