Republican Jack Ciattarelli announces gubernatorial run to challenge Murphy

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Former Republican New Jersey Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli announced Tuesday that he will officially seek the Republican nomination to challenge Gov. Phil Murphy in the next gubernatorial election.

Ciattarelli made the announcement at John F. Kennedy Primary School in his home town of Raritan. He vowed to fix what is wrong in the Garden State.

“I will meet with residents and I will share with them a positive message,” Ciattarelli said. “I will meet even with those residents who disagree with me. But I will share with them that positive message. I will share with them a vision and a plan to fix this broken state.”

Ciattarelli says he wants to lower property taxes, strengthen the economy and draft a new state constitution to face issues like school funding and affordable housing.

“Here’s the deal, if taxes are your issue, Phil Murphy shouldn’t be your governor,” Ciattarelli said.

Ciattarelli ran for governor in 2017 but lost the nomination to former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. He says that he and his wife have been talking about another run ever since that primary concession more than two years ago.

"Not in 42 years have the people of New Jersey re-elected a Democratic governor. With your support, we're going to make sure the same goes for Phil Murphy,” Ciattarelli said.

State GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt and Republican Assembly Leader Jon Bramnick have both made moves to run in recent weeks.

The gubernatorial election is not until November 2021.

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