Jack Ciattarelli: What to know about New Jersey gubernatorial candidate

New Jersey gubernatorial candidate discusses Phil Murphy’s ‘insulting’ governing

Jack Ciattarelli told ‘Hannity’ the state is ‘dying a slow death economically’ as he makes his pitch on top issues ahead of the vote.

Businessman and former New Jersey State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, a Republican, is hoping to unseat Gov. Phil Murphy, who is attempting to become the first Democrat to be reelected governor in the Garden State since 1977.

Born 1961 in Somerville, Ciattarelli grew up in nearby Raritan, where his paternal grandparents immigrated from Italy. He attended Seton Hall University and earned degrees in accounting and finance.

Ciattarelli got involved in local politics in the 1990s, serving on the Raritan Borough Council from 1990 to 1995. From 1991 to 1995, he served as the council’s president.

A confident Jack Ciattarelli, right, likes to say that he’s the only New Jersey Republican who can unseat Gov. Phil Murphy, left, in this November’s election. 

In 2011, Ciattarelli won a race to represent New Jersey’s 16th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly. He served there until 2018. He ran for New Jersey governor in 2017 and came in second place in the primary.

Ciattarelli also owns a medical publishing company and served as an adjunct professor at his alma mater from 1998 to 2001.

Along with the Virginia gubernatorial race, the race between Murphy and Ciattarelli has drawn the national spotlight, with former President Obama campaigning for both Murphy and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe last week.

Former President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy at an early vote rally on Oct. 23, 2021, in Newark.
(Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

Murphy still has a comfortable lead over Ciattarelli, according to the most recent polls collected by RealClearPolitics. Murphy’s smallest advantage is six points in an Emerson poll conducted between Oct. 15-18. Other polling shows Murphy with an even larger advantage, including a new Monmouth poll that gave Murphy a lead of 11 points.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaking during an MTV VMAs news conference at Prudential Center Plaza in Newark in 2019.
(Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for MTV, File)

The campaigns butted heads earlier this month regarding a profane ad that skewered Ciattarelli for once supporting a ban on cursing when he served on the Raritan Borough Council.

Chris Russell, who is general consultant for Ciatarelli’s campaign, told Fox News in a statement about the ad: “Jack is living rent-free in Governor Murphy’s head. Phony Phil from Massachusetts is desperate to ‘act Jersey’ and I guess he thinks feeding into the worst stereotypes about the state is the way to do it. What’s next – auditioning to replace Ronnie on Jersey Shore next season? If so, I suggest he get back to his Italian Villa after he loses and works on that tan.”

Fox News’ Kyle Morris and Michael Lee contributed to this report.

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