Jack Ciattarelli, last year’s Republican nominee for Governor, came within three percentage points of knocking off a Democratic incumbent, and today, said he wants to help his party build on the momentum of his 2021 effort.
“I’ve been making phone calls to a great many Republicans,” Ciattarelli told InsiderNJ as he juggled Election Day obligations.
The 2021 nominee said he expects a strong result for the GOP.
“Tonight is going to have a very positive outcome,” Ciattarelli said. “Our candidates will do well because our candidates are speaking to the issues that matter to voters.”
The Republican former Assemblyman from Hillsborough described the core issues as inflation, crime, and public schools curriculum – in that order; adding at the national level, border security and America’s globally standing.
“I have always strongly suggested speaking to kitchen table issues with positive energy,” sad Ciattarelli, which he said he hears out there as he continues to make the rounds through Republican Party ranks.
So what finally happens tonight?
Jeff Van Drew wins, he said.
Chris Smith wins.
What about CD-7, where Ciattarelli lives, the most watched contest of the season, where Democrat Tom Mainowski is trying to hold off Republican challenger Tom Kean, Jr.?
“Tom Kean, Jr. is going to win,” said Ciattarelli.
Of course, Kean hasn’t done much talking.
He ran almost the opposite kind of race as the one Ciattarelli fulfilled last year, in terms of accessibility, detail-oriented dissection of issues, and everyman readiness and willingness.
But Ciattarelli likes him, backs him, and insists he will win.
In addition to Kean beating Malinowski, the Republican said he anticipates one surprise outcome tonight.
He wouldn’t say what it is, but he expects another GOP victory of a sneak-attack nature.
Bob Healey in CD-3?
A Passaic GOP sweep?
All he would say is, “There’s going to be a surprise.”
As for his own county, where Democrats are trying to protect incremental gains made during the Donald J. Trump years, Ciattarelli said, “Somerset Republicans are going to do well.”