Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) today went into full-fledged attack mode on his opponent in the Republican gubernatorial primary, wondering aloud if his rival’s refusal to engage with her opponents could be rooted in “a misguided sense of entitlement about the gubernatorial nomination.”
“Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno’s standard stump speech almost always includes a reference to how many people have her cell phone and how that makes her accessible,” Ciattarelli said. “What’s concerning is she apparently never picks up the phone if the press calls with a question.”
The gubernatorial candidate cited a Politico story about her campaign, using it as exhibit A to delineate a candidate who seems “unwilling to engage with the press unless it’s from behind the relative safety of an emailed statement or through her campaign spokesperson, Ricky Diaz.”
“I’m beginning to wonder if Mr. Diaz is the one running for Governor,” said the Republican from Somerset County.
“The Lt. Governor has also repeatedly declined or cancelled appearances with fellow gubernatorial candidates. She skipped out on the Hunterdon GOP Convention after it was evident she was going to lose. She backed out of the New Jersey TransAction Conference, at which over 1,000 citizen stakeholders gathered to discuss our state’s challenged infrastructure. And she continues to dodge my debate challenge, which stands at 82 days and counting [www.SilentKim.com].”
When the Lt. Governor didn’t take any questions at her gubernatorial announcement, many in the press “justifiably complained,” Ciattarelli noted.
‘After 7+ years as Lt. Governor, everyone was hoping to finally hear her position on key issues facing the state,” he added. “Now, more than three months into the campaign, it’s clear that the Lt. Governor’s silence is a strategy. Why does she think that invitations from important stakeholders, political organizations and the press are an unworthy investment of her time? Is it a sense of entitlement from a candidate who expected the nomination to be handed over? Or is it something else altogether? Considering the Lt. Governor’s campaign theme, Republican primary voters deserve better from a gubernatorial candidate.”
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