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Sparks Fly In NJ GOP Primary: Steinhardt Slams Ciattarelli On Guns and Lobbyists, Ciattarelli Hits Back

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The New Jersey GOP gubernatorial primary is off to a heated start. The candidates are wasting no time going negative, all but ensuring a lengthy, chaotic fight for the nomination. Over the holidays, former NJ GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt let loose on his opponent, taking shots at Jack Ciattarelli’s close ties to lobbyists and his record on guns. 

In a press release, Steinhardt cutely offered to help launch “Lobbyists for Ciattarelli,” calling Ciattarelli “an empty suit” that will gladly flip flop on a position in return for campaign contributions, office space, or staff. Tell us how you really feel Doug. Ciattarelli, meanwhile, took a swing of his own in a release, calling Steinhardt a “swamp creature” for bypassing the state’s pay-to-play laws

Being a shill for corporate interests and flip flopping on issues is modus operandi for both Ciattarelli and Steinhardt. When it was convenient for him, Ciattarelli criticized Donald Trump, but now, as he needs Trump’s support, he headlines “Stop the Steal” rallies in Trump’s honor. 

It’s clear neither Steinhardt nor Ciattarelli aren’t planning to let up on their negative attacks anytime soon. Just a few days later, Steinhardt tried to position himself to the right of Ciattarelli on guns, criticizing his shooting stance and his record as a legislator on gun control

No matter who gets the nomination, one thing is for sure, these two are in a race to the right to see who can earn the support of Donald Trump’s base in New Jersey.

“Sit down and grab some popcorn, the New Jersey GOP primary has officially begun,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Christina Amestoy. “Doug Steinhardt and Jack Ciattarelli are in a nasty fight to prove just who is more aligned with Donald Trump, and who is more out of touch with New Jersey voters. Regardless of who comes out on top, the only ones winning will be Trenton political insiders and Trump’s far-right agenda. New Jerseyans already rejected Donald Trump’s brand of extremist politics, and they’ll do it again next year.”