UNION TWP. – In a very closely contested and fiercely observed mano-a-mano for the support of the organization in this suburban spill-zone on the outskirts of Elizabeth, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli just won the backing of the Union County Republican Party.
The final vote tally was 113 to 92.
Originally there was a discrepancy in the Union Twp. ballot that delayed the outcome. The delegates took the Union ballots and put them aside and resubmitted. Then counted. Then there was a discrepancy in Spingfield, forcing those delegates to go back and vote.
“Are there any Hudson County Democrats here giving out these ballots?” Union County Republican Committee Chairman Glenn Mortimer cracked.
While they waited for committee workers to tally the results, LG Kim Guadagno held court in the back of the auditorium, with her faithful ally, Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-21), at her side.
An insider walked up to InsiderNJ and confessed to having been blown away by the LG’s speech.
“Jack was stiff,” the source groaned. “He was tight, tight – and stiff. the speech was too short.”
Guadagno, meanwhile, ball-parked it – the best speech she’s ever given, in the words of one delegate.
But Ciattarelli won.
“In this county – they like business guys and they like details – and he had both,” said Ciattarelli minder Chris Russell.
“They both worked, we had a fair process, some 200 people participated, and the best person won,” Mortimer told InsiderNJ.
“My biggest fear was a tie,” he added, with a laugh. “Then these people get mean.”
“Use me,” Ciattarelli told the chairman, who had driven up here from Atlantic City from an event he attended earlier in the day to present himself to the delegates. “I’m here for you.”
Somerset County GOP Chairman Al Gaburo was delighted.
“This was a big win tonight,” said the Ciatarelli ally in a phone interview. “I am really gratified. Union County is truly a place where you go and if you do the work, you get a good result. Jack and Kim on a stage – Jack wins. We are expecting good things through the rest of this week. We are going to go and fight in Middlesex. I think he’s going to be the next governor of the state of New Jersey.”
Ciattarelli could be seen at the end of the event going row by row to pick up the fliers of his campaign to help the janitorial staff here. He was one of the last people to leave the auditorium.
“My team busted it,” he told InsiderNJ. “There was a great synergy.”