SOMERVILLE, NJ - State Assemblyman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli has challenged Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno to debate him in all 21 New Jersey counties, and criticized the ISSUES page on her web site as “shamefully light on specifics and substance about how to solve the economic and fiscal crises facing New Jersey.”

The GOP and Democrat primaries are June 6th.

“Taxpayers and voters are fed up with platitudes and generalities like the ones put forth by Lt. Governor Guadagno during her kickoff yesterday and on her web page,” said Ciattarelli, (R-16th), who represents votes in Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Mercer counties.

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The assemblyman outlined his own comprehensive and detailed five-point plan to grow the economy, reform school funding, restore fiscal discipline and forge solutions across party lines on the day that he announced his candidacy in October of last year.

“Kim has been the 2nd highest elected official in our state for more than seven years and, according to her, has been exploring a run for Governor for months.  So it amazes me she had time to put together a slick video for her web site, but was unable or unwilling to put forth a plan for New Jersey’s future with any specifics or substance," the Hillsborough resident added.  "New Jerseyans deserve better.”

Saying the state is “at a tipping point” after seven years of the Christie-Guadagno Administration, an overwhelming Democratic majority, and all too influential special interests, Ciattarelli said Guadagno needs to do better.

“To be honest, I was little embarrassed for Kim after reading the ISSUES page on her new web site,” said Ciattarelli.  “After seven years with her as second-in-command, we have the worst economic growth and highest property taxes in the country, the highest foreclosure rate in the country, and an analysis by the United Way this week that a staggering 37% of the states’ households live paycheck to paycheck due to New Jersey’s high cost of living and lack of economic opportunity.  We can’t afford to have more of the same.”

He continued: “Yet, the best Kim can do is promise a ‘holistic strategy’ on property taxes, a hollow promise to reform school funding with no specifics, and insult voters’ intelligence by claiming ‘New Jersey's economy has improved.’ If nothing else, this verifies the need for a new direction.

"It also verifies the need for a robust schedule of debates running throughout the primary campaign," Ciattarelli continued. "I have instructed my team to work with Kim’s camp and the other candidates to schedule a debate in every county – whether in front of five people of 500 – so voters can see us in action.  If Republicans are going to win in November, we need a candidate who has a real plan and is battle-tested.  These debates will produce that, and give us our best chance to win in November.”