Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) is the latest candidate in the New Jersey gubernatorial contest to qualify for public matching funds. According to a Tuesday statement issued by Ciattarelli’s campaign, the candidate is in excess of the $430,000 required by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) to receive two dollars in public matching funds for every one dollar raised from private sources.
While the assemblyman’s campaign claims that Ciattarelli has “raised well over the amount necessary” to qualify, the campaign would not disclose the total amount fundraised. Last week, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno — the Republican frontrunner that Ciattarelli faces in the primary — qualified for the match and was slated to receive over $830,000 from the state to finance her campaign.
While Guadagno is still the most known candidate to Republican voters, she and Ciattarelli have each been wracking up endorsements from county party organizations, something that signifies his strength among Republican insiders. Through the additional funding, Ciattarelli will be able to narrow the gap between them, at least in terms of campaign financing.
Now that both Guadagno and Ciattarelli have qualified, they will be required to face off in two debates.
On the Democratic side of the race, two candidates have qualified for matching funds: Assemblyman John Wisniewski and former U.S. Treasury official Jim Johnson. The frontrunner in that race — former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy — is not pursuing matching funds.