Ciattarelli has Not Ruled out Running Against Menendez

Former EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg argues that there is hope for the New Jersey Republican Party to capture the governorship in 2021 if former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is the nominee, provided he can overcome the anti-Republican landscape prevailing in the Garden State.

Sources close to Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) say he craves executive leadership more than extended legislative time on the clock, and yet the man who placed second in this year’s GOP Primary for Governor is weighing his options right now as North Jersey Democrats file in behind a hung jury boosted U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

“I have not ruled out,” Ciattarelli told InsiderNJ. “Any future run for statewide office, however, depends on whether or not the NJGOP is open to rebranding itself.

“We need to be more welcoming to all constituencies,” the retiring Republican assemblyman added. “Otherwise, the party will be too small to even matter.”

InsiderNJ asked Ciattarelli if the Kim Guadagno Campaign made a mistake when it sprang the sanctuary state ad on Democrat Phil Murphy, who ultimately won the general election.

“Any Republican running for statewide office in New Jersey needs to attract soft Democrats and unaffiliated/independent voters,” he said. “When they don’t, Republicans down ballot will suffer.”

A potential primary rival to Ciattarelli, U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3), is likewise not yet ruling out an opposition candidacy to Menendez, and yet sources say it’s unlikely he’ll run statewide next year.

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