Former NJ GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt dropped out of the race for the NJ Republican nomination for governor today, according to a report at New Jersey Globe.
The former Lopatcong mayor, a Trenton lawyer and lobbyist, had hitched his wagon to President Trump, positioning himself as the only unabashed Trump supporter running, since his campaign announcement last month.
Steinhardt launched a video ad last Wednesday bashing GOP front runner Jack Ciattarelli for his lack of support for Trump in 2016. Hours later, riotous Trump supporters stormed the U.S, Capitol following an angry rally that featured the President, his son Donald Jr, and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani inciting the crowd to “Stop the Steal” and fight in combat.
On the same day, Steinhardt mailed a letter to NJ Republican leaders espousing his support of the President and falsely claiming his was a political outsider. The letter started arriving in Republican’s mail boxes on Saturday. His timing could not have been worse, as the nation was appalled by the events in Washington and prominent Republicans, including former Governor Chris Christie, condemned the President’s behavior and fitness for office.
Like the “non-politician” he is, Steinhardt blamed unforeseen professional obligations for his dropping out of the race.
“Last month, I was thrilled to announce our campaign for Governor, and the positive response from grassroots activists and donors has been overwhelming,” Steinhardt said, according to NJGlobe. “While our strong standing in this race make this decision even more heart-breaking, unfortunately, unforeseen professional obligations have made it untenable for me to continue in this race as a candidate for Governor.”
Steinhardt’s withdraw leaves former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli with a clear path to the Republican nomination, barring a wealthy candidate entering the race.