TRENTON, NJ – Hillsborough resident and GOP Gubernatiorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli, who represents the state’s 16th district in the state Assembly successfully beat back a challenge yesterday that questioned the validity of signatures on his nominating petition.
A judge in the state Office of Administrative Law rejected the lawsuit filed by his opponent Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
Specifically, Guadagno sought to disqualify 700 signatures that appear on the formal candidacy petition Ciattarelli filed last week with the state Division of Elections.
A candidate is required to have a minimum of 1,000 valid signatures; had Guadagno's effort been successful, Ciattarelli would have been prohibited from continuing his campaign leading up to the June 6 GOP Primary.
"The Lieutenant Governor’s failed attempt to block me from appearing on the GOP primary ballot was both desperate and sad. Moreover, trying to save her candidacy by forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for this 11th hour 'Hail Mary' is a disgrace. Perhaps the Lieutenant Governor is coming to the realization that a typical politician devoid of any specific ideas or plans to fix our state is a troubled candidate,” Ciattarelli said.
“Given that the lieutenant governor is calling into question the signatures of people like Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano, Hunterdon County Freeholder candidate Shaun Van Doren, Morris County Young Republican leader Jordan Chester, countless other GOP elected officials and leaders around the state — and even the signature of Jack Ciattarelli himself — we feel confident in the outcome,” said Chris Russell, campaign strategist for Ciattarelli.
The Ciattarelli campaign has also challenged signatures collected by the Guadagno campaign that appear on her petition.
“What I find most disconcerting,” Ciattarelli said, “is the extent to which the Lieutenant Governor will try to disenfranchise my supporters. This isn’t the first time. Competition is supposed to be a healthy thing. Is there a side of the Lt. Governor that’s revealing itself?
“With this silly maneuver now behind us, I look forward to continue earning the faith, trust and confidence of Republican primary voters by offering our state and party a new direction,” ciattarelli continued.” And on June 6th, I look forward to beating the Lt. Governor at the polls, just as I did today in court."