One of the anticipated frontrunners for the Republican nomination in New Jersey’s 2017 gubernatorial race will officially launch his campaign Tuesday. Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (D-16) will kick off his bid outside Manville High School. Ciatarelli will be the first Republican to enter the race, though Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is weighing her own campaign.
Ciattarelli, a frequent critic of Governor Chris Christie, said in a statement that he intends to run a campaign with bipartisan appeal. He cited gridlock in Trenton as he as he addressed the state’s stagnant economy in a statement Monday.
“New Jersey has been heading in the wrong direction for decades. Under both Democratic and Republican Administrations and State Legislatures, we’ve reached the tipping point,” he wrote. “We are last in economic growth, drowning in debt, unable to fund core priorities like infrastructure and pensions, crippled by rising property taxes and paralyzed by an unfair school funding formula that cheats children, taxpayers and school employees.”
He alluded to likely Democratic primary candidate and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and his proposal to create a task force that would recommend changes to the state’s school funding formula. The current formula leaves certain suburban districts, many of them in swing districts like Ciattarelli’s own, underfunded.
“Instead of real solutions, we’re stuck with commissions and task forces that talk about problems instead of solving them, and special interests that spend tens of millions each election to preserve the failed status quo. I have seen Trenton from the inside – it isn’t working. And so, next week I will commence a campaign intended to challenge conventional wisdom and chart a new direction for New Jersey that brings opportunity and optimism back to our great State.”
The kickoff will be at 3:30PM outside the front entrance of Manville High School at 1100 Brooks Boulevard, Manville, NJ 08835.