Ciattarelli Shows Solidarity with the Jewish Community in Lakewood

Ciattarelli

LAKEWOOD – The population of this Ocean County town soared by more than 40,000 between 2010 and 2020, bringing it to 135,000, fifth largest in New Jersey.

That’s one reason why Jack Ciattarelli spent just about all of Thursday here.

Now, here’s another reason. The township and its large orthodox Jewish population gave Donald Trump 30,000 votes last year. Joe Biden got only about 6,300.

Turnout this year isn’t going to be that high, but Ciattarelli needs a big win here.

State Sen. Robert Singer, who accompanied Ciattarelli on part of the visit, said that may happen. He described Lakewood as a place where “family values,” and by extension, Ciattarelli’s conservative social views resonate.

Moving through town on Thursday, Ciattarelli covered all the bases. He was at the bus station, police headquarters and a synagogue. He also planned to snip the ribbon to officially open a restaurant.

Around noon, he crowded into the Bagel Nosh on Clifton Avenue, the town’s main drag.

Tried to, at least. Many well-wishers grabbed him outside for photos and selfies.

Once inside, he a bit incongruously munched on a homemade doughnut as opposed to the best “Kosher bagels in the world.”

Then it was around the corner to Pizza Plus, which the owner said (a bit tongue in cheek) symbolizes “diversity in Lakewood.”

He has met both Ciattarelli and Phil Murphy. He described Murphy as “professional” and Ciattarelli as a “people person.”

Ciattarelli has made a lot out of pizza this campaign season, mocking Murphy for eating it improperly.

Besides pizza, the candidate was also presented with a cake from a bakery around the corner, which he did not immediately sample.

Then it was off to a small plaza outside town hall for a combination rally and press conference.

With a crowd of mostly young men surrounding him, the candidate was asked why he was spending most of the business day in Lakewood.

“I’m here to show solidarity with the Jewish community.” he said, mentioning that he visited Israel over the summer.

School choice and vouchers are a big issue in any community with a strong religious framework and Team Ciattarelli certainly did its homework on that one.

Campaign aides dropped fliers at some of his stops stressing the candidate’s support for both.

Asked about it, he said, “You’ll see a voucher program out of me.”

A more parochial issue was traffic. This is New Jersey, so that’s not surprising.

Specifically, one questioner lamented how clogged traffic gets in the center of town.

Ciattarelli said one of his biggest transportation priorities if elected would be improving Route 9 from Toms River north to Lakewood.

Some may recall that back when the pandemic began more than a year ago, some Lakewood institutions were in the news frequently for violating state executive orders related to capacity and social distancing.

That issue, not surprisingly, was not front and center today.

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  • ubdu

    Obvious, bald-faced pandering. He wants to reduce availability of health care and birth control to women, among many other obnoxious things. Vote Murphy.

    • Jerseyguy

      A majority of Lakewood’s Orthodox community doesn’t use birth control, they like having kids so they can increase their population so their religion doesn’t fade away.

      There is always a 100% effective way of birth control that’s free and doesn’t involve drugs. Don’t have sex with anyone you don’t want to run the risk of getting pregnant with. There are also condoms and Walmart has a 100 pk that’s nearly 2 a week for a year for $20

  • Theresa Arpaio

    Murphy all the way
    He cares. Citarelli only cowers to Lakewood for the votes because they are taking over everything.

    • Moe Howard

      Yeah, Murphy cares. He cares about the illegals and the urban taker-class. He could care less about the middle class.

  • Charles Lockwood

    Vote out the elitist Phil Weasel. Best thing that ever happened to Jack this weekend was Barack stumping for incumbent Murphy. Everyone has connected the dots to see Obama leftovers in Biden cabinet fiddling while Rome burns

  • Jim Tobias

    Keep in mind that ultra-Orthodox Jews (sometimes called ‘Haredi’ or ‘Hasidic’) are a minority of Jews overall, only about 6%. So it’s false to refer to them as “the Jewish community”. If there’s a typical New Jersey Jew, she is Reform (~30% of US Jews), lives in any of a hundred suburbs, votes Democratic, and sends her kids to public school.

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