Ciattarelli snubs NJEA giving Phil Murphy pole position in coveted August endorsement

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Republican candidate for Governor Jack Ciattarelli says he’s a moderate and not a Trump loyalist. He says he can win in November by being more in the middle and to represent all of New Jersey, but he failed a major test when he balked at meeting with the NJEA earlier this year.

Instead, the NJEA backed, Governor Phil Murphy who ran unopposed, but Ciattarelli’s snub left a bad taste in the mouth of many union members.

“Though unopposed, his win in the Democratic primary is an important step toward reelection for the pro-public education governor. Since taking office nearly four years ago, Gov. Murphy has kept his policy promises and constantly worked with educators to restore respect to the profession that his predecessor worked tirelessly to erode,” the NJEA said in a statement. “Republican and former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli won the Republic Primary and will challenge Gov. Murphy during this November’s general election. Ciattarelli refused to meet with the NJEA Political Action Committee (PAC) during the primary campaign, essentially forgoing the chance of endorsement.”

Murphy’s first time has been a success for New Jersey’s teachers who are coming out from the end of a long and unprecedented tunnel that turned their profession upside down, COVID-19. Although the governor has been criticized by many on the right, he made sure the education process in New Jersey continued without interruption in partnership with the NJEA through the whole ordeal and continues today.

Murphy has been there for the teachers and the school systems across the state and it’s going to be a monumental task for Ciattarelli to break into voting demographic in November. Flat out refusing to meet did not help his situation that sees him down in the polls by more than 25% to Murphy.

“NJEA members stepped up in a big way during this primary election. Volunteers hosted meetings around the state and made more than 1000 phone calls to teachers and all public-school employees to remind their fellow members just how consequential Gov. Murphy’s first term has been for educators,” the NJEA said. “In targeted races around the state, NJEA member-volunteers made phone calls, sent text messages, and knocked on doors to ensure NJEA-endorsed candidates won their respective races.”

The efforts of those dedicated members paid off; NJEA-endorsed candidates saw big successes across the state during Tuesday’s primary election.

NJEA PAC Operating Committee, the committee that makes NJEA endorsements, will meet again in early August to review the screening of candidates and make official endorsements for this Fall’s general election. Their endorsement for governor will most likely land on Murphy.

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