Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is apparently looking to clear his path to the 2021 Republican gubernatorial nomination by inviting his past and potential political opponents to attend his campaign kickoff.
Ciattarelli, who lost the GOP gubernatorial primary to former Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno in 2017, will ceremonially announce his candidacy at his high school alma matter in Raritan on January 21, according to a NewJerseyGlobe report. He told the Associated Press that he was running last February and has been a frequent guest at GOP events throughout New Jersey ever since.
MMM has learned that the candidate has personally invited Guadagno, as well and NJ GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt, Monmouth County GOP Chairman, Sheriff Shaun Golden, and former U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin to attend the event.
Steinhardt and Golden are widely mentioned as potential gubernatorial candidates. Hugin recently became Chairman of Garden State Initiative, a think tank dedicated to presenting solutions to New Jersey’s fiscal crisis. He told MMM last year that he was open to running for governor under the right circumstances. Guadagno is the CEO of Fulfill (formerly the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties) and is unlikely to reenter the political arena in 2020 or 2021.
Attending a campaign kickoff is tantamount to an endorsement. Attendees can expect their image to appear in a candidate’s campaign commercials, literature and Rhoda’s facebook posts, if she goes.
Coincidentally, Guadagno, Steinhardt, Golden and Hugin all say have conflicts on January 21 and will be unable to attend Ciattarelli’s event.