WASHINGTON, D.C. – Heading for the hotel door and the cold night outside, a Democrat stopped to have a word with InsiderNJ.
The source will remain nameless, but we can identify this person as a respected Trenton player, one with real caucus clout.
He told InsiderNJ that he likes Phil Murphy, and respects the former U.S. Ambassador to Germany’s avid retail political ability and friendliness. But he still isn’t sold, and confessed a weakness for Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16). Ciattarelli is running for governor as a long-shot up against Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. The assemblyman from Hillsborough will have – at the very least – rock solid support in his home county of Somerset.
Where else he will be able to eke out support against a rubber chicken circuit strong Guadagno remains a subject of real debate right now in the GOP. “If the Republicans can get him out of a primary, he could win,” the Democratic source told InsiderNJ, taking time to explicate Ciattarelli’s work ethic, intelligence, commitment to problem solving, and authentic New Jersey story.
“I really like the guy,” the source added.
The source’s enthusiasm cuts against conventional wisdom. Most insiders believe a democrat will be the next governor on the heels of Republican Governor Chris Christie’s long limp to the finish line. To be fair, too, a GOP source at the bar told InsideerNJ that he is a “big Murphy fan.”